Drilling deeper for a sanitary sewer line at the new elementary school could cost the Jessamine County Board of Education thousands of dollars more than originally planned.
Architect Charlie Barnhart with Sherman Carter Barnhart told the board Monday that the 720 feet of sewer line needed to be laid 2.5 feet lower than originally thought at the site off Union Mill Road. The contractor will consequently have to drill deeper and into some unblasted rock not anticipated in the original design.
“When we set this up, we just failed to acknowledge the starting-point elevation based on what the grade needed to be, so it was a coordination breakdown between the mechanical engineering and the site grading,” Barnhart said. “That’s a design scenario; it’s not a contracting scenario.”
Barnhart termed the slip-up as nothing but a “mathematical error.” Tyler Wilson of consulting engineers Shrout Tate Wilson was also at the meeting to explain the issue.
The board approved a change directive for the project with a price tag not to exceed $19,854.75. The cost could be less depending on how much rock has to be removed.
“You’re guessing at how much rock,” said Joe Nolasco with Sherman Carter Barnhart. “You may only hit rock the first 10 feet of the trench and then get out of it. So that’s why I said we’ll do a not-to-exceed price, and we’ll only pay for what you actually encounter.”
Superintendent Lu Young told board members that the work would still have had to be done even if the error had not been made.
“I certainly don’t want to give the impression that I think $19,000 is a negligible amount, but I would point out that if Tyler (Wilson) had realized in the design phase that this needed to be done, then it would have been included in the cost of the project anyway,” she said. “It’s not an additional discretionary item that we’re putting in; it would have been in the package up-front. You would have paid for it then.”
S&ME, the board’s special on-site inspector, will verify the amount of rock to accurately determine the cost, which will be presented to the board for approval in the form of a change order.
“We’ll be back and talk to you about what the real, verifiable amounts are,” Barnhart said. “This allows for the work to proceed under these conditions where we’re verifying the quantities, and once we have that final work in — probably next month; I think it would not be later than that — we’ll know the exact quantities, the unit prices and exact dollar amount.”
Barnhart said his firm is looking at ways to make up for the added cost by rerouting tie-ins for the water line to reduce costs there.
The project is on schedule, Barnhart said, with outside walls in one classroom wing already built to their full height. The school, which has not been named yet, is scheduled to open in the fall of 2013.
At Monday’s meeting, the board also:
• approved the bid documents for the Nicholasville Elementary School renovation.
• approved Facility Commissioning Group’s low bid of $22,500 for commissioning of HVAC and domestic-water systems in the Nicholasville Elementary renovation.
• approved a BG-1 for ceiling repair in the West Jessamine High School gymnasium.
• approved several changes to job descriptions that made the STLP-coach post an extra-duty position separate from the position of school technology assistant.