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Board of Directors’ Meeting

September 24, 2013

Members Present:    Roy Smith, Acting Chairman
                                   John Goetz
                                   Woody Thrasher
                                   Ron Spradling
                                   Mary Jo Klempa
Department of
         Donna Lipscomb

Others Present:        Dr. Mark Manchin, School Building Authority
                                  Scott Raines, School Building Authority
                                  Craig Baker, The Thrasher Group

Members Absent:    Marc Monteleone, Chairman
                                 Rod Clay

The meeting was called to order and a silent roll call was taken and it was determined that a quorum was present.

Approval of Minutes:

Mr. Thrasher moved for approval of the September 19, 2013 minutes. Motion seconded by Mr. Spradling. All voted in favor and the minutes were approved.

New Business:
Presentation on Harrison County School Project

Craig Baker, Criteria Developer for the Harrison County project, advised the board that the technical review committee opened the qualifications yesterday for the Lumberport Middle School Project. All members of the committee were present. He indicated that each response was opened in the morning and the committee had approximately forty-five minutes to review each of the responses and formulate questions. All questions were provided to Mr. Raines, who was the central spokesperson for the committee to assure no member accidently asked something that was not technical in nature. In the afternoon each design-build team came in and gave a brief presentation regarding their project and then had an opportunity to respond to questions from the committee. Mr. Baker advised that the reviews and interviews went very well.

Mr. Baker stated that one issue did come up that was unexpected. An addendum was sent out previously to all teams which required mine grouting for a specified cubic yard with a unit price provided. The addendum was acknowledged by all of them. G&G Builders’ proposal indicated that they did not intend to grout the mine as they could not assume the liability and no cost would be included for the grouting.

The specifications required the grouting. There was a section in the score sheet for technical that included how they would address the mine subsidance and nothing was included by G&G Builders. Therefore, this team did not score the required 70 points on the technical portion in order to move forward to the cost opening.

Mr. Goetz questioned why there are two different score sheets in the packets. Mr. Baker advised that one of the members of the committee inadvertently switched the scores of the two teams. Ms. Lipscomb advised that there was a noterized letter in the packets from that committee member for their review which explained the error. This was noticed when Mr. Baker was tabulating the scores and it was obvious there was an error. Mr. Baker called the committee member to ask what he intended to score and he had, in fact, put the wrong score on the wrong team.

Mr. Baker advised that changing the score to the score that was intended by the committee member did not change the outcome of the highest bidder. Mr. Lipscomb indicated that it just brought the first and second teams closer by four points and made the lowest bidder even lower.


Mr. Smith expressed concerns that this project now only has two bidders due to one bidder having to be thrown out. He agreed that the lowest bidder deviated from the specification by not doing the grouting and getting a score below seventy. He also stated that he expressed concerns with the School Building Authority early on in this process that they needed to keep three bidders. Mr. Raines stated that he has worked for three weeks trying to come up with a solution that was fair in order to keep all three teams on board. No one was aware that the third team would not agree to grout until the sealed proposals were opened yesterday. Mr. Raines also pointed out that when they did the short list on qualifications only three of the teams scored above seventy so they were unable to move forward with four or five teams.

Mr. Thrashed stated that in the design-build process some projects are suited beautifully and sometimes it is a challenge. When you run into a situation with a mine it becomes an even bigger challenge. Mr. Thrasher believes that the problem was handled effectively by Chairman Monteleone’s recommendation and it was fair to all bidders.

Ms. Lipscomb advised that she was present at every step in this process and it was handled in strict accordance with the Act. This is a unique situation due to the mine issue and the technical portion was a large percentage of the scoring so it would have been difficult for the lowest bidder, who refused to do the required grouting, to have scored above seventy points.

Mr. Smith continued to express concerns with allowing them to proceed in the design-build process with only two bidders. He questioned what would happen if one of the two remaining teams pulled out or didn’t do the costs. Ms. Lipscomb advised that sealed costs were submitted by all three teams. Mr. Smith indicated that the board has an obligation to assure the public that they are getting the best products for the best cost. When the board allowed going forward with only two teams in the past it cost the state a lot of money.

Mr. Smith stated that the board has two options. They can allow them to go forward since everyone did all they were suppose to do through the Act or they can not approve them going forward with only two bidders. Dr. Manchin advised the board that they have been working on this project for three months and if they are not allowed to move forward then the School Building Authority will not be back through the Design-Build Board again. He indicated that he has a responsibility to report to his authority board as to how this process has worked with the two pilot projects.

Mr. Goetz indicated that in the normal procurement process if one bidder must be eliminated there is not a problem with continuing with the others who haven’t done anything wrong. Mr. Thrasher expressed concerns with throwing the baby out with the bath water. Ms. Lipscomb advised that this project is on a very tight time frame and it is critical for them to move when the students are off on Christmas break, as they can’t be moving when students are in school.

Mr. Spradling advised that since everything was done in accordance with the Act he moves to approve Harrison County Schools proceeding in the design-build process. Motion was seconded by Mr. Goetz. All voted in favor and the motion passed. Mr. Thrasher abstained from the vote.

Other Business:

There was a lengthy discussion regarding how many bidders you should try to have. Ms. Lipscomb stated that when she attends the evaluations she makes sure people are aware a team can not go forward unless they receive seventy points. She also lets them know that the board does not support letting a project go forward if bidders drop out and they only have two remaining. Mr. Thrasher stated that having more may not be the solution as someone may not like their odds of winning with more teams so you must weigh your options. Mr. Raines advised that in this situation they had no choice but to short list only three as the others did not score seventy points on the qualifications portion.


There being no other business to come before the board, the meeting was adjourned.