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DISTRICT TO MULL EARLY FIELD BIDS.

Byline: Carol Rock Staff Writer

SANTA CLARITA - Hart School District officials are hoping to play the odds that the state won't make too many changes if construction bids go out now for installing synthetic athletic fields at the new Golden Valley and West Ranch high schools.

The board of the William S. Hart Union High School district will consider a recommendation Wednesday to accelerate the process to avoid a highly competitive bid market and the possibility of another rainy season.

According to consultants hired by the district to coordinate the field-renovation project, waiting for project approval, which is anticipated in June, could cost the district approximately $1.2 million.

A letter from Vanir Construction Management states that increased costs due to a busy summer bidding season and construction work during inclement weather would drive up the project costs. Vanir also identifies areas where the Division of the State Architect might have a different interpretation of state codes regarding loading and evacuation access, increased path of travel and non-independent fire alarm system.

``Considering the above,'' the letter states, ``the project team is confident that the district's risk in proceeding with the bid in parallel with DSA's review/approval will be minimal and far less than the potential costs that will be incurred due to delay.''

Changes by state inspectors were partially responsible for a budget increase for field renovations at Hart, Canyon, Valencia and Saugus High Schools that was approved Jan. 19.

``The state changed the rules when we were six months into the project and we were required to do several things differently,'' said Rory Livingston, assistant superintendent of facilities for the Hart district. He said that since Golden Valley and West Ranch are not getting stadiums, the access and travel issues noted might not be issues.

Livingston added that the district has learned much from the four fields currently being renovated and has changed the scope and design of the Golden Valley and West Ranch fields accordingly, including improved drainage systems tested by recent torrential rains.

He also noted that the project team has held three meetings with state inspectors as plans for the new high schools have developed.

``There shouldn't be any real surprises,'' he said.

A memo from Mike Otavka, director of facilities for the district, advises the board that starting the bid process before approval carries no enforcement or consequence, ``except for the costs involved with bringing the work into compliance with DSA's wishes.''

``Making these changes after contracts have been awarded through the change order process, as we have experienced, can be costly,'' he cautioned.

Carol Rock, (661) 257-5252

carol.rock(at)dailynews.com

IF YOU GO

The board of the William S. Hart Union High School district will meet at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the board room of the district office at 21515 Centre Pointe Parkway, Canyon Country.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 1, 2005
Words:485
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