Chatham Grove attendance zone approved, school board delays change order

Posted 8/2/19

PITTSBORO — After nearly two years, the attendance zone for Chatham Grove Elementary School has been determined.

The Chatham County Board of Education approved the zone at its regular meeting …

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Chatham Grove attendance zone approved, school board delays change order

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Posted

PITTSBORO — After nearly two years, the attendance zone for Chatham Grove Elementary School has been determined.

The Chatham County Board of Education approved the zone at its regular meeting July 25, along with rearranged areas for Pittsboro Elementary, Perry Harrison Elementary and North Chatham Elementary.

“We’ve been working on this for quite a while,” said Chris Blice, Chatham County Schools’ chief operations officer. “It has been a part of practically, but not quite, every board meeting since we’ve started. I think we’ve done a very thorough job.”

The school board began discussing the new zones in September 2017 and ended the process with six options, narrowed down to two. The final choice, called “Scenario D,” checked all the boxes of a benefits matrix with the board’s priorities, including allowing all students from Chatham Park and Briar Chapel to attend the same school and preventing overcrowding at Chatham Grove, which is scheduled to open August 2020, at the five-year mark.

“D looked like it fit all of our benefits that we talked about,” said board Chairman Gary Leonard.

The board approved the zone unanimously.

The vote came after a somewhat-lengthy discussion, spurred by board member David Hamm, over a change order for Chatham Grove’s construction. The change order, a list of increased or changed expenses for a construction project put together by an architect and contractor, listed several expenditures at a cost of $189,627.99, well within the district’s more than $3 million allocated for contingency. But Hamm’s qualms came over some of the expenses.

He pointed to several more fire extinguishers and cabinets ($3,213.96), door hardware changes ($9,240.09) and additional seal joints ($65,416.69) for the roof are items he believed the architect should have known about before construction started.

“We’ve got to be good stewards of the money we’ve got,” Hamm said. “This is a drop in the bucket, but it looks like things they should have already taken care of. This isn’t our money. This belongs to every taxpayer in Chatham County.”

The change order had been signed off on by Randy Drumheller, the district’s director of maintenance and construction, but Hamm said he had no problem with Drumheller or his recommendation.

“I’m coming over strong, I know,” he said. “Here’s a company that we entrusted, and they are getting a lot of money from us. You can’t count how many daggum fire extinguishers you need?”

The board agreed to table the item and take it back up, with further input from Drumheller and project architect David Taylor of CRA Associates at a board meeting August 1.

Reporter Zachary Horner can be reached at zhorner@chathamnr.com or on Twitter at @ZachHornerCNR.

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Jenny

Why don’t we just say that the new elementary school was built specifically for Briar Chapel families because those of us that live on the road the school is being built on, will have to drive to Perry Harrison. This is ridiculous!

Friday, August 2