Incredibly the EPISD board in their Tuesday, December 19, 2017 meeting took what appears to have been contradictory actions within minutes.
They had previously gone out for bids to find construction managers at risk for Burges, Coronado, and Jefferson high schools. The board voted to reject those bids and instead issue requests for competitive sealed proposals once the architects have finalized their designs. The problem here is that the bidders had to spend time and money to come up with their bids and then the board decided that using a different approach would be better.
The very next thing that the board did was to allow district staff to go out to bids for a construction manager at risk for Irvin high school.
Why did the board drop the construction manager at risk approach for the three schools and then go ahead and use it for a fourth? It appears that EPISD staff might have conducted an unfair process on the first three schools . The district has brought in yet another out of town lawyer to straighten out the district’s bid process. Their only way out of awarding the original bid was to reject all bids. Going to competitive sealed proposals will potentially add costs to the projects, but going out for bids a second time for construction managers at risk would expose the district to legal claims from the original winner. The district still feels that the construction manager at risk process is more cost effective–that is why they used it for Irvin high.
This could have been avoided if the district had been fair with their evaluation of the original bids. It looks like they tried to pull a fast one here but got caught.
This costs the contractors and the community money and will result in fewer bidders in the future.
We deserve better