After much deliberation Dorchester District Two board members decided to terminate their contract with M.B. Kahn Construction Company, the contractor that had been selected to handle all of DD2’s construction projects.
Board Chairwoman Gail Hughes said the board arrived at the decision after M.B. Kahn’s cost estimates for the project turned out to be more expensive than what had previously been determined.
Once the cost analysis had been submitted, the cost has increased tremendously from what they said they could do it for, Hughes said. “In good faith of the bond referendum, the money that was given us to build the project, we just couldn’t do it.”
DD2 board members discussed the decision during an executive session at March 24’s board meeting before voting when they returned to open session.
After voting to terminate the contract board members went on to vote to put the project out for hard bid which, Hughes said, will keep them on time and – hopefully – under budget.
“New bids are going to go out the same time they would have gone out with M.B. Kahn – maybe, in fact, about a week early,” Hughes said. “We’ve already got a time frame set in place and we’ll just move forward from there.”
Hughes added the decision to terminate the contract with M.B. Kahn was “not an easy one”; e-mails from the contractor determined they were not going to be able to do the project at the initial cost.
“We’re on a shoe-string budget here with academics, as well as the building project, and we just can’t afford to put anymore money into the project,” she said. “It was something we really hated to do because we had a good working relationship with them and we valued the business with them…but we really had no choice.
“But that’s okay,” Hughes added. “We have two competent construction team members that I think will get us where we need to be and when we need to be there, and we’ll move forward from there.”
Also discussed during executive session was an update on the aquatic pool: no site location has been determined yet with that project.