School Board discusses building delays

by Marianne Gasaway

Does the school district want to enter into litigation with the general contractor of its Wellness Center building and vestibule addition to the high school?  

That’s the question Clear Lake School Board members discussed at their Tuesday, Dec. 14, meeting.  

The answer turned out to be, not yet.

Superintendent Doug Gee provided board members with a construction update at the meeting, with Dean Snyder Construction manager Seth Meyer and ATURA architect Mark Kroemer on hand to answer questions.  

A portion of the high school vestibule, which includes new entry doors to the gymnasium, a large concession and gathering area and restrooms, is being used but is not finished.  The contract date for the work to have been complete was Aug. 20, prior to school starting.  The completion date for the wellness center building was Dec. 6. 

According to the contract, liquidated damages could be incurred after the specified dates.  The penalty is generally $1,000 per day or more after the contract completion date.

“My concern has never been with Snyder Construction’s work, or getting it done,” said Gee, “it’s the materials.  They have not been here due to supply chain issues.”

Board member John Brady asked the contractor if COVID-19 and supply chain issues had become a standard excuse used by suppliers.

“From what I hear, a lot of it is supply chain issues — stuff that used to take a couple of weeks to get, now is taking several months or more,” said Meyer.

Brady said the Kalwall feature, which will be installed on the south side of the $5 million wellness center, is known to require more time to install and suggested it’s delay should not be attributed to the pandemic. A Kalwall was also used in construction at Clear Creek Elementary pre-pandemic and also took longer than expected.  

Brady urged Board members to consider implementing liquidated damages to recoup losses it will sustain by the delayed opening of the

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