School Board Buying a Pig in the Poke!!! No money left for auditoriums at Burns and Crest??– Report by Robert A. Williams

When the CCS Board voted to build the New North Shelby School Project on the James Love Elementary School site at an estimated cost of $10 million, I offered CCS free engineering services to assist them in implementing cost controls, budgetary controls, evaluate construction bid proposals, building code and contract compliance and general assurance that CCS was getting what they were paying for from the architects, engineers and construction companies. I expected the know nothing CCS Board to refuse my offer.

Anyway, expecting a CCS refusal, I also filed Freedom of Information Act and North Carolina Public Records law requests for the architect and engineering product deliverables (plans, specifications, reports, etc.) for the new North Shelby School Project. These are public documents and I intended to review them come Hell or High Water. I wrote several articles and copied the School Board regarding the unsatisfactory soil conditions found at the James Love site and estimated a cost over-run of $1,000,000 just for the soil remediation. I suggested CCS build the New North Shelby School Project somewhere else on available land with acceptable soil AND a cheaper price.

Now, the new North Shelby School project architect, Roger Holland of Holland & Hamrick Architects has submitted an invoice for $297,000 (minus the $82,500 already paid for the CCS Board) to pay this coming Monday, Oct, 10, 2016. This Invoice is provided at the end of this article for your convenience. Notice that the Invoice does not contain even one line item that describes in any detail what has been delivered to CCS.

Let me say right now that CCS has refused to accept my offer to provide the free services noted above despite my many years of commercial experience in just these matters. The CCS Board has refused to provide me with any information that I requested in a legal manner and that they are legally required to provide. I suspect the documents were not provided because the CCS Board does not have the documents themselves. And if they did, they wouldn’t have a clue about what they were looking at.

One thing is wrong though. I estimated the soil conditions as noted would cause a $1,000,000 cost over-run. According to the invoice, the estimated cost for the New North Shelby School Project is now $12,000,000. That is a $2,000,000 cost over-run. And I am not sure that one shovel full of dirt has been moved yet on the New North Shelby School Project.

So, it appears the foolish School Board is buying a pig in the poke as described in the attached invoice. I think the cost over-runs will now end up being $4 million to $6 million with all the work that is being charged to the James Love site that is actually done for the new North Shelby School Project. This is called fraudulent accounting, but the CCS Board and the Cleveland County Commissioners do it all the time.

All you folks that are all “hepped up” with the promise of new auditoriums at Burns and Crest (50 year old schools) might as well forget about the auditoriums. I have a suggestion for you, don’t believe a word CCS says about something coming in the future. “Seeing is believing” I always say. I will predict you will hear more promises next year about this time when the phony School Board Candidates are running for re-election. I also predict 50,000 voters will stay home on Election Day 2017 just like they did in 2015 to allow the same old lying crowd get re-elected.

At this point I can only hope that Danny Blanton gets re-elected because he is the best member the School Board has had in the almost 20 years since merger.

Re-elect Danny Blanton to the School Board in 2017. Visit Danny at his Fair Booth as the 2016 Fair is coming to an end.

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