Facing bids that were more than 40 percent of the estimated cost for the new schools for the blind and deaf, the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) will rebid a portion of the projects with a controversial piece removed.


The OSFC voted to reject bids for the schools at the last meeting after the bids came in too high. At the meeting, Republican lawmakers on the panel had argued that the union-friendly project labor agreements (PLA) were responsible for the increases. During the discussion, OSFC Executive Director Richard Murray said all options are in the table.


In his report during Thursday’s meeting, Murray said that they have had discussions with the schools and the architect on the project. Because the schools stressed the importance of new dormitories, Murray said those portions of the project will be sent out for new bids in early October with the PLAs removed.


“This demonstrates that all options are on the table,” he told the commission.


After the meeting, Murray said that while the dormitories are being rebid, the commission will be looking at “value added engineering” on the other portions of the school construction to see if there are cost savings in the design of the project. He said they hope to see what the market is like through the rebid on the dormitories and then rebid the rest of the project at a later date.


While he did not have a timetable, Murray said he hopes to have the rebid on the rest of the projects go out later this year or early next year.


During the meeting, State Superintendent Deborah Delisle’s designee, Francis Pompey, asked if the rebid will give an idea as to how much the PLA may be costing the project. Murray said that it should give an idea of the labor and material costs, but construction on the dormitories is slightly different than the rest of the construction on the academic facilities. He compared the dormitory construction to building single family homes. Still, he said it will give some data on the costs.


In other action, the panel approved changes to the Priority Order of District Funding list for the next year. Ten districts were added to the Classroom Facilities Assistance Program (CFAP) list, while six districts were added to the lapsed project list after the districts failed to secure funding. One district was added to the Vocational Facilities Assistance Program (VFAP).