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Board member complains about construction issues

The Mustang school district has been building at a rapid pace with money from a $180 million bond issue that voters approved in 2017.
Some growing pains have come with the work, and school board member Jeff Landrith is unhappy about them.
He’s especially upset that the punch list for the new science academy had 400 items on it.
Although some of them have been corrected, Landrith made a motion at Monday’s board meeting to deny Superintendent Charles Bradley’s request to accept substantial completion of science academy.
Landrith’s motion died for lack of a second, and the other three board members present — President Chad Schroeder, Stacy Oldham and Todd Lovelace – voted to approve the substantial competition. Board member Dedra Stafford was not present.
“I don’t have direct answers yet to too many questions,” Landrith said.
The science academy’s design is novel, with exposed pipes and bare concrete walls – in an effort to provide teaching opportunities to students about how buildings function.
Some of the exposed concrete has rough edges, and it needs to be repaired.
Another problem wss that some of the electrical panels had a buzzing sound.
Twenty-five percent of the punch list has been corrected, and crews are working on weekends and over holiday periods on remaining items, Bradley said.
The 400 items on the punch list are not unusual, Bradley said.
The punch list for the recently completed Mustang Central Middle School had 600 items.
Building have a one-year guarantee from the district’s longtime construction manager, Crossland Construction.
“Every spot on the wall is an item, and painting the wall corrects all the spots,” Bradley said.
“It’s important to identify every nick and scratch out front and address it during the warranty period.”
At previous board meetings, Landrith expressed frustration because the science academy wasn’t completed by the beginning of the school year in mid-August, with the opening delayed a month.
The main reason for the delay was that heavy rains in the spring and early summer slowed the curing of the concrete, said Jason Pittenger, the assistant superintendent for operations.
On Monday, the board unanimously approved acceptance of substantial completion of Mustang Central Middle School.
It opened on time for the start of the school year.
The school district also opened two building on time at the start of the last school year, Meadow Brook Intermediate and Riverwood Elementary.
The wrestling addition to the High School Event Center is behind schedule and wasn’t ready for practice and the start of the season.
“We’ve had some surprises, but we hope to have it done soon,” Bradley said.
The performing arts center, a $25 million project located north of the high school campus is progressing well, and it should open by next November, Pittinger told the board.
Work on a state-of-the-art band and sports practice field and fieldhouse expansion will begin in March with completion scheduled for December of next year, he noted.
The $3.6 million project includes a practice field with artificial turf and lights and a 2,500-square-foot addition to the fieldhouse.
The fieldhouse project will include air-conditioned workout rooms. The current fieldhouse is not air conditioned, Pittinger said.
The project will be built on the site of the former school administration building, which was torn down because it was antiquated and was replaced by the new educational resource center.
The new practice field will allow both the band and football team to practice in conditions that replicate a football field at the same time, Pittenger said.
It also will help Mustang attract more participants for band and football camps, he said.
Bradley, who previously oversaw construction projects as deputy superintendent, thanked students and parents for being patient during construction work around the high school campus.
“The challenges are temporary, and once everything is completed, everyone will forget the growing pains,” he said.

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