So we have all seen that the district staff (and the Board) have been talking about various capital projects that will be needed to help manage the capacity issues. Things like adding a science lab(s) to Cooper should Pathfinder (a K-8) move into the building, finally(!) putting money into SBOC when they move into Meany (if that happens as well), Old Hay, Blaine, etc.
But where will we find that money? I mean, there may be some money still in the BTA levy (or projects could be added to the upcoming BTA levy in Feb. 2010). But that means other projects don't get done. And, of course, money is already committed in BEX III to its projects. Or is it?
I guess it is if a project is working at a breakneck speed. From the November 2008 New School newsletter:
"Thanks to an intense construction schedule of 10 hour days and 6 day weeks, the project is currently on schedule and New School staff and students are set to move in to start the 2009-10 school year."
Now that took me aback. Ten hour days, 6 days a week?
Now folks, in all my time doing research on capital projects, I have never seen this. Oh sure, a little when they were falling behind towards the end of the project and had to hustle to finish. But to put a project on a 16-month schedule (also largely unheard of) AND working 6 days a week (paying time-and-a-half at least to the construction workers for that 6th day) really makes you wonder what is so special about this project.
Oh, right...it's New School (which, by the way, is going to be renamed South Shore School Pre-K-8).
Now I didn't just read the newsletter; I called the Heery Construction person listed as the contact for this project. He verified that yes, they were working on a fast track and when his company is asked, by the hiring entity (that would be our district) to get it done, Heery gets it done. So yes, the district ASKED for this pace and is WILLING to pay the extra money it is costing to get it done. Now, I would do due diligence and call the Facilities staff (in fact I can't wait to hear this story) but naturally, no one is available this week at the district.
Unbelievable. We are really supposed to take these people - and I mean the folks in Facilities - seriously when they give us building condition numbers (which are going to change under the new(!) survey now being done by Meng Analysis), take them seriously when they pour a lot of money into buildings only to turn around and close them and now, take their BEX budgets as believable.
Again, I ask...how do some people sleep at night?