The Board of Trustees with the Wharton Independent School District overcame uncertainty about an architect’s contract to approve the guaranteed maximum price for the baseball and softball complex at $3 million during a Tuesday, June 11 special meeting.
Trustee Steven Roberts asked to make sure that will be the maximum price, but fellow trustee Rachel Rust noted that up to $254,000 in fees could be incurred.
Greg Polasek, of Polasek Construction, explained that the guaranteed maximum price is intended to keep the project under budget and that the fees are allowances in case an aspect of the project costs more than anticipated.
“It basically eliminates anyone who comes back and says, ‘We need more money than we said,’” he explained.
The baseball field aspect of the project includes regrading of the field, resodding, a new infield with new clay, irrigation and drainage. The field has an immediate drop going from the infield to the outfield. A new softball field will be built with a scoreboard, bleachers, backstop and sound system around the field. While the softball field is included in the $54 million bond issue, the regrading of the baseball field is not.
After Rust motioned to accept the guaranteed maximum price without bleacher covers, trustee Chris Sparks questioned what has happened with the renegotiation of the contract for architectural firm RWS due to a concern that changes in the contract could spur increases in construction cost. Since a May 7 special board meeting when it decided that the school’s legal counsel would renegotiate the contract with RWS.
“This action item has nothing to do with our contract with RWS. This is your guaranteed maximum price with your construction manager at risk,” Wharton ISD Superintendent Tina Herrington said.
Trustee Curtis Evans asked what the board would gain by approving it then, which was followed by the converse question by Rust of what they would know in two weeks that they did not know that night.
The guaranteed maximum price was submitted two months ago, and Polasek said that if the school board delayed any longer, the prices might change.
“Some of those things should have already been awarded in order for us to play ball in January,” he said.
Nonetheless, believing that everything must be set with the architect’s contract, Sparks voted against accepting the guaranteed maximum price, along with Cody Pohler and Sherrell Speer. Rust, Roberts, Evans and Christine Stransky voted in favor.