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509-J signs $10.7 million contract expansion

School board also ratifies $650,000 settlement over leaky roof
General Editor
   April 2, 2003 — Several construction projects were finalized at a special Monday night meeting of the School District 509-J Board of Directors.
   After considering four proposals, the board awarded a $10.68 million contract to Kirby Nagelhout Construction of Bend to do expansion and remodeling work at Madras High School and Buff Elementary.
   A ground-breaking will be held at 10 a.m., Friday, April 4, in front of the high school, and the work will continue through the summer and next year. The amount budgeted for the entire project was $15.8 million, because it includes inside equipment and furnishings.
   In a long-disputed case, the board voted to ratify a $650,000 mediated settlement in regards its lawsuit over the leaky roof at Jefferson County Middle School.
   The school's roof began leaking shortly after it was built in 1995, with water eventually running down walls and dripping onto stairwells during rainy, windy weather.
   The district filed a lawsuit in 2001 against general contractor Degree Builders and Contractors Inc., and Degree, in turn, sued its subcontractor, Cascade Heating and Specialties Inc., which had installed the JCMS roof. The case had been scheduled to go to trial until the cash settlement was negotiated.
   In the settlement, Degree will pay $550,000, and Cascade Heating will pay $100,000.
   In a related move, board members voted to declare an emergency so that the district could move quickly to get JCMS roof repairs done before school starts next fall.
   Declaring an emergency exempts the district from having to advertise for competitive bids, a process which takes around 60 days.
   "This allows us to do an expedite of the roof repair," commented board member Jim Manion.
   The district plans to hire Pacific Rainier Roofing Company of Seattle, which is familiar with the JCMS roofing problems since Pacific has acted as the district's consultant throughout the lawsuit. It is also a very reputable roofing company, although not the cheapest.
   But before roof repairs can begin, Degree has agreed to repair damage inside the building, while a company called Custom-Bilt will repaint the areas after they're fixed.
   A second emergency was declared in order to expedite repairs to the fire-damaged Warm Springs School.
   Since December, students have been doubled up in classrooms in the undamaged school building, and using a teacherage house for music classes.
   "It would be nice to have things ready for next fall. This would give us everything but a gym," said Supt. Phil Riley, referring to the school gym which was completely burned in the fire.
   District attorney Ed Sites said the repair work would take about two months, and if it wasn't done this summer, there would be school interruptions in the fall.
   In regards to replacing the old gym, Sites said, "We don't want any work done on the fire wall (where the gym was attached to the classrooms) until you decide if you want the gym there or in another location, and that's being negotiated with the Tribes. You may decide to take the insurance money and put it into a new elementary school."
   On the question of how much the fire insurance settlement will be, the board gave consensus approval for the superintendent to hire a second company, Heery International, to do a more extensive review of the damages, in hopes of getting a larger settlement.
   "We expect to get an offer soon," Supt. Riley said.