TRM work called into question

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, October 21, 2015

After frustrations over T.R. Miller High School renovations were voiced at Monday’s Brewton Board of Education meeting, construction officials announced the Dec. 31 completion date will be met.

The work, which is part of a $1.715 million renovation project at the baseball and football fields, began in April.

“The stadium work on Phase No. 1 was to be completed by Aug. 10,” said Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Varner. “We’re almost 10 weeks beyond that. I know (the board is) getting a lot of questions. So am I.”

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Contractor Fred Chambliss with Amity Construction Company Inc. said the first phase “is finally wrapping up” and cited change orders for the construction delay.

“Right now, in the press box, the sound system is going,” he said. “Flooring is being installed this week. The windows will be in by next Friday. It’s finally coming together.”

Work on Phase No. 2, the exterior and grounds, is also ongoing, Chambliss said.

Crews will soon begin on the remainder of the plaza work and the main entrance to the baseball facility, he said. Grassing is ongoing.

“We’ll get there – barring any unforeseen circumstances – by December,” he said.

Board members did question the grassing process, mainly if all the contract conditions were met. Chambliss said if issues arise, there is a one-year warranty on the grass.

While board members agreed the project was behind schedule, Chambliss said he disagreed.

“We’ve had to work our way through several issues,” Chambliss said. “All the time in construction, things come up. We try to work it out and keep moving. We’ve had several of those. We’ve worked our way through them.

“From my perspective, we’re not behind schedule,” he said.
Varner asked that daily construction reports – including the number of crewmembers working on site – be submitted.

“We’ve got a three-week window until we host the first round of the playoffs,” Varner said. “I think we have a difference of opinion on whether or not things are behind schedule. I think the community feels we are behind schedule. We’ve fielded a lot of questions. This board has a strong desire to see these projects wrapped up – particularly Phase No. 1. I hope you can make that happen.”