The board voted on Thursday night to re-bid the Purdue Field lighting project after more than an hour of discussion, but revisited the issue at a special-called meeting Monday morning.
At that early morning meeting, they unanimously decided to let Trigg County School Superintendent Travis Hamby enter into what is called “noncompetitive negotiations” with the two contractors. After talking with Jay’s Electric and Knight Electric, another special called meeting will probably be held on Wednesday or Thursday.
Hamby said that because it was an emergency B.G.-1 (building and grounds), they can forgo the usual bidding process and talk to the contractors, and he cited the Kentucky Revised Statute 45A.380.
“We can do this if an there’s an emergency that exists that can cause public harm,” said School Board Attorney Howell Hopson. He added that a crossbeam falling and hitting someone below would be an example of that.
Thomas Waldron, the project engineer, said on Thursday that a Universal Sports Lighting representative didn’t look at the bid specifications and instead went on word of mouth and failed to follow through, bidding the project based on standard specifications, and as a result, Jay’s Electric’s base bid, which uses USL, came out to $124,955 – about $48,000 less than Knight Electric’s base bid of $173,765.
Because of this, on Monday Hamby suggested they have the two contractors submit bids using Musco Lighting and Hubbell Lighting.
“Obviously, there’s a vast difference between these two bids,” said Trigg County School Superintendent Travis Hamby.
With both complete wiring replacement and the 25-year warranty, the bids come up to $148,026 for Jay’s Electric and $200,858 for Knight Electric. The emergency BG-1 called for up to $206,188 to be spent on the project.
Knight Electric’s warranty would cost $12,465, while Jay’s Electric’s warranty was listed as $7,500.
At Perdue Field, the lights are 70 feet from the field and standard specifications are 45 feet, so there are more poles and more lights at Perdue Field, said Matt Ladd, director of operations for Trigg County Schools.
USL and Jay’s Electric agreed to honor the price for all the poles and lights needed, despite the error, but wouldn’t honor the warranty at the price given, Waldron said.
Curt Mickey, a representative for Musco Sports Lighting, said that while he would recommend either Jay’s Electric or Knight Electric, in his opinion USL doesn’t have as much experience with football lighting as Musco does.
Knight Electic would use Musco Lighting. A USL representative was not present.
Although the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) standard is 30 foot-candles for fields like Perdue Field, the board is looking for lighting capable of 50 foot-candles. For Davis, the issue is less of safety and more related to the ability of athletes to see the ball.
The board asked many questions of Waldron, especially about how re-bidding the project would affect the timeline, but he said that even if they re-bid the project, contractors can have it finished by the middle of September.
“We know we’re going to miss the … first two or three home football games anyway,” Waldron said.
Hamby suggested then that they re-bid because they had so many questions about USL that hadn’t been answered at that point, and because choosing the highest bidder is legally iffy.
Earlier last week, the Trigg County Recreation Complex Board voted to accept the light poles that are being replaced. Ladd said the four poles being replaced should be perfectly safe for use at the complex, as the crossbeams were the safety hazard, not the poles themselves.
Hamby said Monday morning that while there shouldn’t be any problems with it, he hasn’t gone to the school board to get their approval for the donation. He continued by saying wind had knocked down at least a couple of the crossbeams and that the old poles were safe but couldn’t be certified for new lighting.
The board also voted to approve changes to several board policies, including a stepped implementation of end-of-course exams counting towards a student’s grades, a policy that will coincide with the new assessment.
For the 2011-2012 school year, the ending exams will count for 10 percent of the grade, the year after that they will count for 15 percent and the year after that they will count for 20 percent.
“Our concern was just that this is a brand new thing this next year,” Hamby said.
The board also approved the review of the student code of conduct, which includes removing any mention of corporal punishment. Beth Sumner said corporal punishment hasn’t been used since about 2003, and even up to that point it was on a “very limited basis.”
“We get a lot of parents that read the code of conduct and want us to issue corporal punishment, but I just think that there’s a liability issue there,” James Mangels, director of student services and personnel for Trigg County Schools, said.
The revised code of conduct also now says that students may be suspended from the bus in response to their second misconduct notice. It originally said suspension will be applied.
Mangels said the language change gave those keeping discipline more choice, and that he and other found that when it came to permanent removal, some bus drivers would look for minor infractions to write students up for.
“We did not feel that was in the best interest of the child,” Mangels saiad.
The board also set the 2011-2012 cafeteria fees, which have not been changed since the 2007-2008 school year. Hamby said that because of changes in the law, they may have to look at increasing the prices within the next few years to the level of reimbursement for free lunches, which is $2.74 per student.
Currently, breakfasts are $0.30 for students on reduced meals, $1 for other students and $1.25 for adults, while lunches are $0.40 for students on reduced meals, $1.50 for other students and $2.50 for adults.
The food service is legally required not to make a profit, said Davis. Hamby said Trigg County’s food service is more efficient than most, as they only have one cafeteria, and added that they will have to investigate the issue further.
In other business, the board approved Max Arnold and Sons, Midwest Terminal, Seay Oil Company and Key Oil for gasoline and diesel fuel. Hamby said the district will buy fuel from the vendor with the lowest price at the time, and also said that given the volatility of fuel prices, they couldn’t just pick the one with the lowest price at the time of the meeting.
While approving change orders for the central office re-roofing project, Hamby expressed some frustration with the contractor in charge of the project, having asked three times for a site supervisor to be at the site.
In his report, Hamby said work on the Little Theatre at Trigg County High School is underway, and that contractors have already gotten rid of the barrier, the carpet and the old seats.
“They just started installing the new carpet today,” Hamby said. “They should have that done in about a week.”
Hamby said that the chairs should be installed by Aug. 1.