Daviess County Public Schools Board of Education members are considering for approval a change order to the Daviess County High School track and field renovation project to the tune of $202,799.50, and Tuesday, they had questions for RBS Design Group about what they called the "excessively high" number.

Mike Ranney, principal architect for RBS, told board members during a luncheon meeting at College View Middle School that 75% of the change order is due to unforeseen conditions, with 61% due to poor soil conditions under the track, football field and parking lot at DCHS.

The renovation at Reid Stadium included a revamp and remodel of the existing bleachers, which included adding ADA seating at the top and bottom of the stadium, and sprucing up the press box. A new track was installed as well as a new synthetic turf field. A new entry building was also constructed that includes concessions, a ticket booth and restrooms. The parking lot at DCHS was also redone.

Board member James Morgan asked Ranney whether or not some items were left off the original bid, like $25,000 extra spent on asphalt. Ranney explained that things were not left off, but changed along the way.

For example, he said, a storage building was not originally bid to be moved, and it was, which accounted for the extra asphalt.

Board member Frank Riney III said he and fellow board members don't mind a few change orders, as they can be a part of the building process, but the bad part if when they get this high.

"The mark-up on change orders it always consistently more," he said. "This just seems excessively high."

Ranney said that this large change order is the result of several, smaller amounts lumped together.

"We were sort of accumulating all of these items so that we weren't coming back to you every month nickel and diming you, $10,000 here, $20,000 there," Ranney said.

Riney, and other board members agreed, that in the future they would like to be forewarned that the change orders had reached such an amount.

The DCHS project previously had an $18,451.25 change order, also for soil stabilization.

Board members also are considering a $30,511 change order for the Apollo High School stadium project for soil stabilization for the new parking lot. Previously, the board approved $114,620 for soil stabilization to the track and field as they were being constructed.

In 2018, the board of education approved $15.1 million for the DCHS track and field project, along with a new Apollo High School stadium. Apollo's new Eagle Stadium was first estimated to be $9.3 million, and the renovations to the DCHS stadium were originally expected to be $5.8 million.

The current cost of both stadiums is $16.88 million, which breaks down to $10.2 million for Apollo and $6.8 million for Daviess County.

Also discussed during today's luncheon was the district's purchasing of seven new special education school buses for a total cost of $748,000. According to Sara Harley, DCPS director of finance, the buses that are being replaced were purchased in 2010 with federal stimulus money. The seven new buses will replace them, along with one bus from 2007.

Matt Robbins, DCPS superintendent, also told board members that whenever the district builds a new school building, a committee is convened to discuss the name of the building. The committee decided that the new middle school under construction will remain Daviess County Middle School.

The board will meet 4:30 p.m. Thursday at DCPS central office, 1622 Southeastern Parkway, at which time they will make decisions about these items discussed during today's luncheon, among others.

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315.

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