Murray Announces Contracts for Schools for Deaf/Blind in Final OSFC Meeting

In the final meeting of the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) under the Strickland administration, outgoing commission Director Richard Murray made a formal announcement of construction contracts for the Ohio School for the Deaf/School for the Blind projects. 

“The purpose here today is to award these contracts,” Murray said to open his monthly director’s report, the last of his 15-month tenure at OSFC. 

The sometime union official replaced former director Michael Shoemaker after differences with the governor over labor contracts in commission projects. 

Murray was asked about OSFC’s future role in the much-discussed School for the Deaf/School for the Blind projects, which have come to symbolize the dispute between Republicans and Democrats over prevailing wage and project labor agreements (PLA) in state-supported school construction. PLA bids for the projects originally came in roughly 40 percent over-budget, but Murray announced at last month’s meeting that bids approved Thursday had reduced that by a factor of 10, or 4 percent over-budget, which is within the allowable variance. 

“If they have a project at budget,” he said of commission-backed construction, “then we’re done.”