Chatham Grove change order approved by school board

Posted 8/9/19

PITTSBORO — With clarification received, the Chatham County Board of Education approved a $189,627.99 change order for Chatham Grove Elementary School.

The board had delayed approving the …

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Chatham Grove change order approved by school board

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PITTSBORO — With clarification received, the Chatham County Board of Education approved a $189,627.99 change order for Chatham Grove Elementary School.

The board had delayed approving the document, first presented at its July 25 meeting, as board member David Hamm in particular had several questions about some of the items. But at a special called meeting on August 1, those questions were answered.

Several individuals related to the construction of the school — district Chief Operations Officer Chris Blice, district Director of Maintenance & Construction Randy Drumheller and Project Architect David Taylor with CRA Associates among them — were present for the meeting and walked through a couple of the items.

One of Hamm’s concerns was the requirement of additional fire extinguishers and cabinets. The original contract allowed for $2,450 for those items, but the change order increased the cost to $3,312.96. Taylor said the county fire marshal wanted more sets than initially specified and didn’t return his comments to the architects until after bidding was completed.

Drumheller said it was “not uncommon” for documents to go to bid before getting back full information, but Hamm expressed frustration with the situation. Chatham County has been in the process of changing fire marshals, which he acknowledged.

“Here’s the right hand of Chatham County not helping the left hand of Chatham County. Chatham County didn’t help us in this situation,” he said. “Regardless of transition of power and whatever. That should have been avoided.”

Another item covered was tape used to seal drywall joints on the roof. Most of the $65,416.69 would be directed toward labor, and the addition would add two days to the project schedule.

Taylor said a construction consultant recommended adding tape to the roof “to create a more impenetrable air barrier.”

“I felt that that was well worth it in the savings of energy that it would produce down the road,” he said. “It’s not the expense of the tape itself. All this is is drywall tape on the seams to fill any cracks and voids on the drywall. The labor is the biggest deal.”

Hamm said near the end of the meeting that it was his expectation that all of these things would be taken into account in the original drawings.

“I’m getting educated,” he said. “This is something that I would have an expectation that it would already be there. I’m learning.”

Drumheller said Hamm’s questions were “well-taken” and added that there are no “100 percent complete drawings.”

“A lot of times the contractor catches things in the field that are not caught in the drawings,” he said. “Because of that, the industry standard is to provide contingency money. It picks up things that were left off the drawings or the owner says, ‘Hey, by the way I’d like to have this.’”

The board — which was missing member Melissa Hlavac — voted unanimously to approve the change order. The district has more than $3 million set aside for contingency on construction of the school, which is now slated to be occupant-ready on Dec. 29 of this year.

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


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