COMMUNITY OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
Toledo Public Schools Building Program
February 15, 2006
Present: Darlene Fisher, Joyce LaVoy, Doni Miller, Steven Ramirez, Kevin Smith and Kenny Terry.
Excused: Bill Babcock, James Cobham, Jodi Gross, Richard Hodges, Bonita Johnson, John Martin and Rev. David Morris.
Also attending: Dan Burns, Patrick Donahue, John Foley, Dr. Eugene Sanders, Gary Sautter, Bill Ramsey and Sarah Foley (recording secretary).
Mr. Smith called the meeting to order at noon. The minutes from the December 14, 2005 meeting were approved.
Mr. Smith passed out the scheduling subcommittee report. He stated that most projects under construction are on track. Several projects have been moved up, for example, Grove Patterson moved to September 19, 2006. By the end of this year there will be 20 projects in various stages of construction. Mr. Smith feels that it is a heavy schedule, but the bidding is still very competitive and it appears that the industry can support it.
Segment one had a lot of land acquisition issues that altered the schedule, but segment three does not have as many timing issues.
Mr. Terry asked how many projects were complete.
Mr. Burns stated that two projects are closed out and there will be one more complete within the next 30 days.
Mr. Smith added that by the end of this year there will be five projects completed.
Mr. Sautter stated that some kids are in the East Broadway Middle School already because the parents agreed to cooperate; this allowed the sixth graders to move in earlier than the other students.
Dr. Sanders stated that Ms. Bruss keeps the TPS website as up to date as possible and it is always a good resource for information.
Mr. Smith stated that Mr. Martin was unable to attend today’s meeting because he had to attend a meeting in Columbus, however Pat Donahue has agreed to give the finance subcommittee report.
Mr. Donahue stated that overall the budget and cost issues are being managed efficiently and within the parameters established by TPS and the OSFC. In segment one there are two projects that still need to go to bid and three projects that are nearing financial close. In April the final budget allocations for segment one will be reviewed.
Mr. Donahue added that five projects have been to bid in segment two and Byrnedale has come in slightly under the budget allocation. Budgets for segment three have been approved by TPS and the OSFC and are adjusted for current cost trends. All contractors & vendors continue to be paid within 30 days of complete approval of payment applications. The staff from TPS who continue to work on this project deserved to be complemented for their hard work.
Mr. Smith stated that the stability of current construction costs helps with the bidding process and with budgets. Instability in construction costs can lead to inflated bids because contractors are unsure of their costs. The bids that are coming in now are more competitive due to the stability of the market, as well as the continuous timely payment.
Ms. Miller added that since she runs a small business she knows how important it can be to acknowledge the Dr. Sanders and his staff. Mr. Burns and Mr. Sautter have been doing an excellent job with just the two of them, when other districts have entire departments dedicated to the construction project.
Ms. Miller also gave the MBE subcommittee report. The committee has asked a monitor to compile a report of the last year so that the committee can review the progress of the district. They have not quite met their goal, but Ms. Miller is satisfied that they will continue to strive to improve and that they are doing all that they can to increase the numbers.
Dr. Sanders added that capacity of minority businesses for the city will continue to be a problem in the future. However, he is satisfied that the contractors are doing the best that they can and all are making good faith efforts. He added that TPS is the only organization that is actively pursuing inclusion goals. He feels that 10% are decent numbers.
Mr. Ramirez gave the historical subcommittee report. He stated that DeVeaux plans are complete and they are moving forward. He has toured Chase, there isn’t anything to carry on to the new school, but he feels that the design is great. He also stated that he couldn’t take anything from Whittier because it will be swing space, but that he may be able to collect some items later on. He is also planning on attending the Spring, Stewart and Raymer meeting next week.
Ms. Miller inquired about the article she read in the paper about the gates from Cherry school being used in the new building.
Mr. Burns stated that they are actually storing artifacts from the school in the Waite area swing space.
A community member inquired about the status of DeVilbiss School and stressed that he is disappointed with the number of renovations and the fact that most are in the last segment.
Mr. Sautter stated that it is going out to bid next month and they hope to know more about where they stand this summer, since it is the first major renovation project for the district.
Mr. Smith stated that the committee has no say over the renovation choices. Those rules are mandated by the OSFC and are not for the committee to address.
Ms. Fisher asked about how they were handling the TTA students during the DeVilbiss renovation.
Mr. Burns stated that they have already moved adult ed out of the building and they plan to start at the South end of the building. They have shifted the first floor classrooms of the TTA to the second floor. They hope to renovate the portion that the TTA occupies during the summer months in order to minimize interruption to the students.
Ms. Fisher asked what would be going into the school when it is completed.
Mr. Burns stated that the middle school will house roughly 600-800 students and that the TTA will be a little larger as well.
Dr. Sanders stated that they will tour the Waite area swing space so that the committee can see the transformation of the building. They will also tour the East Broadway Middle School and Oakdale. Dr. Sanders asked the committee to be cognizant of the fact that the students are preparing for Proficiencies. They won’t be able to enter any classrooms with students in them, because there is a lot of text anxiety and they don’t want to interrupt.
Dr. Sanders also added that on February 27 there will be a press event on the third frontier network. It will be at 10:00 a.m. at Woodward and the committee is invited to attend. The project focuses on giving student access to the newest computer technology and high speed internet for educational use. He also passed out the contract with Toledo report. The report is also available on the web, at Lucas County Public Libraries and black and white copies can be made to the committee members if they would like to distribute them at meetings.
Dr. Sanders thanked Mr. Terry for attending the Oakdale Grand Opening and explained to the group that they like to have at least one committee member at the grand openings to speak on behalf of the committee.
The next meeting will be April 19, 2006.
The meeting adjourned at 12:45 p.m. and was followed by a tour of the Waite area swing space, East Toledo Junior High and Oakdale Elementary school.