The “multi-use” facility is having some electrical problems—the problem being that the tenders are coming in too high.
Dennis Brunn, vice-chair of the Fort Frances-Rainy River Board of Education, read a letter to trustees at last night's regular meeting from Phil St. Cyr of Daoust Construction.
St. Cyr said the over-budget figure obtained by the recent closing of the mechanical and electrical tenders “is a concern” that must be attended to.
Local education director John McLeod said after last night's meeting it isn't the mechanical tenders that are causing the problem so much as the electrical ones.
“We've got to go back [over the plans] to get the electrical cost back in budget,” he said, noting the number of electrical outlets may have to be reduced, for instance.
“[Daoust] feels they can do it,” he added.
So far, work at Westfort is staying on schedule, with the structural steel set to arrive sometime today.
McLeod gave two reasons for why costs have become higher than expected. First, few contractors from Manitoba are placing bids on the tenders since their hands are full with repairs stemming from last spring's Red River flood.
Another factor, he added, seems to have come at the government's own doing. By allocating $600 million to build new schools across the province, it effectively has saturated the contractor market.
“Everybody's busy," McLeod said. "You've got no competition [on tenders].”
Also at last night's board meeting:
odue to lack of agenda items, trustees agreed to reduce the number of board meetings to one a month unless a second meeting is warranted (trustees will meet again this month—on Oct. 21—to approve an report on the board's total asset and liabilities;
oinstead of attending an EIC hearing in Kenora, the board will send in a written submission in reply to its query of what should a the role of a trustee be;
otrustees ratified the appointment of Elsie Cyr to the position of Native Language teacher at Rainy River High School;
othe resignation of bus driver Walter Caribou was accepted; and
otrustees ratified the appointment of Helen Brow and Alva Jean Hebert as half-time classroom teachers at Sixth Street and Alberton Schools, respectively.