Regarding the May 6 article “Wake finding costs rising for school construction”: It’s predictable that WCPSS deems it necessary to remove two schools from being funded by the $810 million bond issue and plans to ask taxpayers to approve yet another bond issue in 2016.
Yes, costs of construction are increasing, but the more significant problem in Wake County is the unjustified and essentially exclusive use of the “no bid” construction-management-at-risk delivery system.
Whereas North Carolina statutes have long made clear “that open competition delivers the best value for the taxpayers and public owners,” WCPSS chooses to spend more and continues to ask for even more without regard to the “best value,” somehow believing that spending more equals a better educational experience.
Apples-to-apples cost comparisons are not available, but anecdotal evidence clearly indicates that savings in the magnitude of 15 percent minimum could be achieved by using competitive bidding for school construction.
We challenge WCPSS to take several schools that are exceeding an already generous budget, put them out for competitive bidding and compare the resulting bids with bids being received from the few chosen construction-management-at-risk firms.
To do so would enable the two schools to be built without the burden of an additional bond issue.
Keith R. Harrod and Marshall Gurley
N.C. General Contractors for Fiscal Responsibility