After much delay, nearly all of the work on Science Hill High School’s massive construction project is expected to be completed today, according to Tommy Burleson, the city’s construction agent.
“Brian Stoker (of EMJ) has assured me that everything, with the exception of some of the dirt work outside, would be done by tomorrow,” he said during Thursday’s facilities committee meeting.
School officials have been frustrated over the last several months as delay after delay kept the project from being completed.
The $23 million construction project included four new buildings: administrative offices, a 9th Grade Academy, a dining hall and a multipurpose gymnasium.
Burleson said only a few items remain on the punch list, and he’s confident EMJ will be nearly finished by the end of the day.
“EMJ has got qualified people up there working on them and I feel 99 percent comfortable that they’ll have it done,” he said.
Some of the remaining items mentioned by Instruction and Facilities Supervisor Dave Chupa include cleanup, installation of ceiling tiles, removal of hanging wires and repairing roof leaks.
Burleson said most of the items mentioned during the meeting are now warranty items, meaning they are items that needed to be completed once the building was rewarded substantial completion.
“They’re all ultimately fixed, it’s just a different paperwork process,” he said.
One of the other issues discussed during the meeting related to problems with the new buildings’ alarms and door locks.
School officials expressed frustration with communication between the school and the companies responsible for those issues.
Knoxville-based Building Systems Technology Inc. is the company responsible for the data wiring and alarm systems in the new facilities.
North Carolina-based Security Central is the answering service contracted by BST.
Burleson said he has a meeting scheduled Monday morning with the city fire and police departments, BST and school officials to iron out those details.
“Probably by Monday at 12 o’clock, they’ll have the problem solved,” he said.
Near the end of the meeting, school board member Jenny Brock requested that the remainder of EMJ’s fee not be released until the board is satisfied with the company’s completion.
The retainage fee is nearly $300,000, according to Burleson.