published Friday, June 5th, 2009

Cleveland: School to hire construction superviser

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — The Cleveland Board of Education approved a professional services contract Thursday for a representative to monitor additions and renovations at Cleveland High School.

City Schools Director Dr. Rick Denning will hire the representative and receive his reports.

No one was named Thursday, but local construction expert Gene Bishop is expected to get the job. Mr. Bishop proposed the position several weeks ago and asked for $74,000 no matter how long the projects take.

A professional services contract does not have to be bid, board members said. They agreed to start payment when project funds become available.

“It’s a very complex project you are talking about,” said Dr. Murl Dirksen, board vice chairman and site committee chairman.

It includes construction of an environment-friendly science wing, renovations to the west wing and repairs to the gymnasium dome. Much of the work will be done when students are present, and each part must be finished on time, he said.

Several board members said they gave considerable thought to the position.

Steve Morgan said he has struggled with the offer because “it’s going to offer us dividends but at a high price.”

Some wondered whether the responsibility should stay with architects and the future general contractor.

“I have struggled with this, too,” said Dawn Robinson. “My question was how do I best protect our project as a board member.”

The representative will watch the work daily and will be able to head off problems, board members said. The representative will have no decision-making authority and members said questions will be resolved by Dr. Denning, the board or its site committee.

Chairwoman Peggy Pesterfield and Evelyn Rockholt said they were persuaded when contract language spelled out how to handle differences of opinion on the job site.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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