Contractor Problems Give Rise To Board Concern

School district rethinking agreement with BMJS Contracting over roof issues


Discussion and mild disagreement erupted among Payson district school board members regarding issues with BMJS Contracting of Winslow.

The disagreement centered around whether or not the board would be willing to rescind the termination of BMJS's contract to perform remodeling and renovations at Payson High School's Old Main building in 2005.

BMJS submitted the low bid of $1,654,338 in 2005 and did start on the project in December of 2005, but never completed everything to district satisfaction.

On Nov. 14, 2006 the board voted to authorize the Horton and Myers law firm to draft a letter to BMJS, demanding completion of the project by Dec.1, 2006 or face legal action.

On June 28 of this year the board met to discuss pursuing legal recourse against BMJS since the company failed to meet the Dec. 1 deadline.

"The primary outstanding issue with the contractor (BMJS) is the roof on Old Main," District superintendent Casey O'Brien said

Mike Horton, board member, said he had reservations about rescinding the termination of contract.

"I am not sure I feel that we are getting adequate protection for the district in this case," he said.

"I want to be sure we are going to get the 20-year warranty for the roof."

Board member Don Engler also said he would like more assurance the district is receiving adequate protection.

The board voted to table the issue and O'Brien said he would schedule an appointment with the district's legal counsel to discuss board member's concerns.

Update on construction

The board also received an update from PinnacleOne on the district's bond construction project.

"We should have complete construction documents in hand and turned over to the Town of Payson for Rim Country Middle School by March 1, and for Julia Randall Elementary School by April 1," Tim Brand, representative for PinnacleOne, said.

He said PinnacleOne is working with town officials to hopefully waive some of the required building permits and begin work at Julia Randall Elementary by May 1, 2008.

Brand said they hope tentatively to complete construction at Rim Country School and Julia Randall Elementary by Aug. 9, 2008.

He said the general contractor W.E. O'Neil needs to be on site at Julia Randall Elementary and Rim Country Middle Schools by March 1 and April 1, if they hope to meet the tentative Aug. 9, 2008 completion date.

"This is an ongoing process, so we can't guarantee a start or completion date," Brand said.

Board members Engler and Ron Huff said they had reservations about proposed pitches for new roofs at Rim Country Middle School.

PinnacleOne has proposed using a 1-12 pitch, meaning there is a one-foot fall in pitch for every 12 feet of roofing.

Engler and Huff both said they felt the pitch was too low.

Brand said Pinnacle had already done extensive work on the roof pitches at Rim Country Middle School, but in light of Engler and Huff's concerns, they would go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate their choice and get back to the board as soon as possible with revised plans.

Other topics discussed by the board included food service at Payson schools.

District food service manager Bill Helmintoller said that while they were unable to meet their 2007 budget, they have been able to reduce the deficit by 50 percent from last year.

He said this year, the district's food service is facing the challenge of decreased enrollment at Rim Country Middle School.

"Rim Country is our biggest revenue producer, participation among students is up, but revenue is still down so far," he said.

Increase in meal prices cut useage

Helmintoller said a 25 cent increase in meal prices this year hurt the district.

"Parents traditionally rebel when there is an increase, but by October, it usually pops back up, and that looks to be the case this year, too," he said.

"We also have, up until now, been using a standardized menu used in California schools and kids here in Payson didn't really like some of the things on it," Helmintoller said.

"This month we have gone back to our regular menu."

He said vending machines on school property also takes away from food service revenue.

Payson High School Principal Roy Sandoval said the high school has only juice and bottled water in vending machines.

"Vending machines of any kind in schools still hurt us, but we are about where we should be right now," Helmintoller said.

He said not having lunches on half-days also decreases potential revenue.

"We could be looking at a $15,000 loss in the district this year from half-days," Helmintoller said.

"We are looking at placing food carts in high-volume areas at the schools like parking lots and other places where students tend to congregate, to try and get them before they go off campus to all the fast-food restau

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