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ELC scrutinizes project manager

By Staff | Nov 12, 2008

Some members of the Estherville Lincoln Central Community School District Board of Education questioned whether the district is getting its money’s worth from the project manager hired to oversee the middle-school construction project.

Board member Don Schiltz raised the issue at Monday night’s board meeting, after Roger Gilbert, the project manager hired to oversee construction, presented his report. Gilbert was not present when Schiltz’s comments were made.

Schiltz noted that the district had spent $58,355 to date on Gilbert’s services. “What have we gained,” said Schiltz, a member of the construction committee.

“He’s acting more like a construction watcher than a construction manager,” agreed board member Mike Karels, also on the construction committee. “I don’t see where we’re getting a lot out of it.”

Schiltz noted that Gilbert had overlooked a number of items that were caught late by project architect Ed Wineinger

Superintendent Dick Magnuson suggested that the matter be addressed when Wineinger meets with the building committee Thursday. In addition to Karels and Schiltz, the committee includes Gilbert, Wineinger, Magnuson and ELC board president Molly Anderson.

“He has no experience whatsoever on precast set. So what’s he doing there. Learning on the job?” Schiltz asked. He suggested that the board could give Gilbert 30 days notice to terminate the district’s contract with him since Wineinger has been the one to bring up any deficiencies in the project.

Schiltz also objected to the money the district has paid Gilbert to come to meetings and for travel.

“You have not shown me anything that we have gained by having a project manager,” he said.

Magnuson suggested that he could pull information together for the next construction committee meeting.

“You don’t need to pull it together. We’ve seen it, Dick,” Schiltz said. He said the board did not yet know who would be paying for relocating drinking fountains that had to be placed lower.

“It’s $58,000 we have paid him so far and we have not seen one benefit yet,” Schiltz said.