GM school board worried about window installation delay for new high school

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By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

A problem regarding the windows for the new Groveport Madison High School raised concerns for the Groveport Madison Board of Education.

According to Tom Sisterhen, vice president of Smoot Construction, an inspector at the window manufacturer determined that some of the insulated windows intended to be shipped to and installed at the school were of insufficient quality.

“It was a quality control issue at the factory,” said Sisterhen.

Board members Bryan Shoemaker, Libby Gray, and Nancy Gillespie all expressed concerns about how the delay in the installation of the proper windows would affect the cost of the project and if it would hamper the construction timetable.

Gray questioned why the board had not heard about the window situation earlier.

“We aren’t here to hide anything from you,” said Sisterhen, who assured the board the delay in installing the windows will not increase the cost of the construction project and will not put the construction of the building behind schedule.

Sisterhen said some of the correct and proper windows are on site now and the rest will arrive in December and January. He said temporary windows and temporary heating will be used so work can continue on the interior of the new school until all the corrected windows arrive.

“We’ll use a better type of temporary window to keep everything on track,” said Sisterhen.

Costs incurred while waiting for the windows can be absorbed by funds in the project’s contingency fund.

Sisterhen said money from the contingency fund can be used for various reasons during a project, including accelerating the project, making corrections, buyout issues, or subcontractor breach of contract.

“We need a breakdown of the costs for the temporary heating that will be needed because the windows aren’t there,” said Shoemaker. “We also need to know how much of the cost the window manufacturer will cover.”

Sisterhen said the window manufacturer could absorb their portion of the cost, but he said he would not know how much that amount would be.

Board members were concerned about using contingency fund money.

Smoot Construction representatives explained that the contractor’s contingency is included in the guaranteed maximum price of the project as outlined in three separate contracts previously reviewed and approved by the board.

These contracts were approved by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission and reflect customary methods of managing the contractor’s risks in projects of this nature.

“Despite the delayed installation of some of the windows, the project remains on schedule and is currently more than $2 million under budget,” said Groveport Madison Communications Director Jeff Warner.

Parking at the new high school
In a related matter to the construction of the new high school, Smoot Construction officials explained where the parking lots will be laid out at the school.

An 80 space parking lot will be located just north of Cruiser Stadium. An 171 space lot will be just north of the school. A 215 space lot will be just south of the school. Two more lots, one with 158 spaces and another with 20 spaces, will be placed in front of the new school where the current high school now sits.

The new high school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2018.

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