NB school upholds demolition bid

February 21, 2013

Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

New Boston School has reached an agreement with Solid Rock Construction, upholding the company’s bid to demolish Oak and Stanton schools in the district. The company filed an injunction last month preventing the school from rebidding the job after the school discovered past the deadline that another bid came in lower than Solid Rock.

According to New Boston Superintendent Mike Staggs, when the district began accepting bids to demolish the two buildings, they failed to put the new school address as the return location. The bids were opened at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 29, and Solid Rock Construction, in West Portsmouth, was the low bidder at $377,800.

Solid Rock owner Bill Whitaker said he was given the keys to the buildings and things began moving forward— until he got a phone call saying the school had to rebid the project.

Staggs explained that after opening the bids, the school discovered another bid packet which had been delivered to Glenwood Avenue. The school received it late, but delivery tracking confirmed it had arrived before the deadline. That bid, from NCM Demolition in Cincinnati, was reportedly lower than Solid Rock’s bid. Whitaker said NCM threatened to sue the school if they did not rebid the job, but NCM could not be reached by the Daily Times to confirm this statement.

Solid Rock Construction filed an injunction on Jan. 25 to prevent the school from rebidding the job and parties met Thursday morning for an oral hearing before Judge Howard Harcha in the Scioto County Court of Common Pleas. After the hearing, Whitaker reported that the NCM had withdrawn its complaint and the school has agreed to honor Solid Rock’s original bid.

“It’s a win-win situation for Solid Rock as the contractor, Solid Rock employees, for the New Boston School Board, and as well as the community. The dollars will get to stay here in the community and that is a major plus. That’s what we need here,” Whitaker said.

He said work will begin on both schools within the next 30 days, beginning with site abatement and environmental work. Once they begin demolishing the buildings it should only take two days to bring them down, Whitaker said, but the entire job will take a couple of months to complete. The demolition sites will be fenced off, and will not disrupt traffic on Oak Street or Stanton Avenue.

“Stanton will be the first to come down, probably,” Whitaker said. “We feel like it’s more of a liability in its present condition to the school district. We just don’t want no kids hurt. We want to get it secured up for the community. There’s been a lot of complaints about the school from the community lately. We just want to get that taken care of.”

Attorney Chris McCloskey, representing New Boston School, would not comment on the hearing at this time, he said, because it has not been finalized. When asked, he would not elaborate further.

New Boston Superintendent Mike Staggs said the demolition of Oak and Stanton is long overdue, and the school is pleased it’s finally going to happen because the vacant buildings are unsafe for the community and attract mischief. He said the school board has not discussed their plans for the vacant lots once the buildings are cleared. Staggs personally believes the district should keep their property on Oak Street for future development, if they need it, and sell Stanton for housing development that might bring more students into the district.

“I am of the opinion that with Oak Street in such close proximity to the high school, that’s land we should hold onto for a while to see if we’re going to have space problems. That could be a site where we could put another small structure if we had to,” Staggs said.

The former high school building on Glenwood Avenue was sold and is now occupied by the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center.

Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@civitasmedia.com.