The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly last night barely approved another change order on the design of the expanded and renovated high school. As Borough Manager Bud Cassidy explained, design firm Jensen Yorba Lott submitted the request for about $400,000.
“This is work that is being beyond the design work that we’re under contract with the architect with. It’s associated with construction facility; it’s administration and closeout of the project. It was always anticipated and always budgeted to be part of the project, but the amount couldn’t be determined until all the design was approved. This amount is $439,720. It’s a time and materials contract, so we’ll only be paying for the time and the hourly rate spent on it.”
Assemblywoman Louise Stutes expressed her reservations about the change order, and the number of them that have been submitted so far in the project.
“I really appreciate the opinion of the borough attorney and I think he did a fabulous job with his opinion. I can understand it totally. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to vote for this. I’m just looking: we’ve got $1.7-million in change orders so far on Yorba Lott. Just so far. And I’m reading some of these things that have been written in memos from Tony Yorba and I’m thinking, ‘Oh my goodness. If we bring this high school in at $80-million, it’s going to be a miracle.’”
Assemblywoman Carol Austerman said she had some concerns last week about how the change order fit into the original budget, but said the borough attorney’s legal opinion and an updated copy of the budget set her mind at ease.
“Even after this amendment we still have $120,000 left in the budget for design services. I’m very hopeful we won’t see more change orders that are going to come and are going to exceed that 120,000. But I was also very pleased to see when I got this updated budget that the full amount of the project contingency is sitting there unexpended. And that made me very happy to know that even with the change orders that we’ve processed on the high school that we still have not had to touch that project contingency.”
With Assemblymen Tuck Bonny and Mel Stephens absent from the meeting, the assembly voted 4-1 to approve the change order, with Stutes casting the dissenting vote. She almost wasn’t alone, as Assemblyman Aaron Griffin took several long seconds to decide on his vote. If he had voted no, the measure would have failed, even with a 3-2 majority, because four yes votes are required for any measure to pass.
Also at last night’s meeting, the assembly unanimously passed the One Percent for Art projects that will go into the new high school. The school board passed the same list earlier this year. Cassidy said there are many Alaskan artists and some local ones on the final list.
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