Thursday, June 16, 2016


St. Johns County School Board failed to provide material evidence in response to my Open Records requests on construction bidding -- a letter referring to the current bidding climate which resulted in lack of competition.

May 27, 2016
Mr. Paul Rose
Executive Director for Facilities & New Construction St. Johns County School District
40 Orange Street
St. Augustine, Florida 32084

Re: New K-8 School "LL"
St. Johns County School District Architects Project No. 16018.00

Dear Mr. Rose:
Bids were received on May 17th, 2016, for construction of the New K-8 School "LL" in the Aberdeen area. Bids were received and opened from one Contractor. Upon review of the sole bid of $35,337,000.00 from Perry McCall Construction, it was determined to be a responsive bid and as such they were the apparent low bidder.
The sole bid came in considerably over budget, and given the current bidding climate which resulted in lack of competition, we can't as good stewards of the St. Johns County tax payer dollars recommend the award of the project to the sole bidder.
We recommend the St. Johns County School District reject the current bid for the K-8 "LL". In our opinion we will need to change multiple variables within the project in order to encourage more Contractor participation and ultimately affect the cost.
We would recommend revisiting the bidding duration along with construction duration in an attempt to generate more competition. Additionally, Value Engineering will be explored as well as significant scope reduction to get the project back on track and within the School District's budget.
If there are any questions or you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
Lance Courtermache
Senior Project Engineer
Harvard-Jolley Architecture
West Palm Beach, Florida 
Rejection of Bid #2016-17 New K-8 School LL 

The letter was in the School Board packet for the June 15, 2016 meeting but not provided in response to my Open Records requests.  Hence, I wrote the School Board:

-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Slavin
To: joynerj
Sent: Thu, Jun 16, 2016 1:35 pm

Dear Superintendent Joyner:

1. Here is a link to an inculpatory document -- a smoking gun -- a May 27, 2016 letter from the Board's architect -- that was never provided in response to my requests.  

2. Why was this document not provided in response to any of my eight (8) requests 2016-197,198,199,200,201,202,203 & 233?  

3. It existed when the Board responded.  It found it in the [6/15] School Board agenda packet, but not provided to me.  Was this withholding a mere oversight?  

4. Or has there been yet another "damn coverup" (in the immortal words of United States Tennessee Valley Authority Chairman S. David Freeman, P.E., Esq. after we won declassification of the world's largest mercury pollution event in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in 1983)?

5. Please direct our School Board staff to respond thoroughly to my requests, with no more cursory searches, please, without further evasions of F.S. 119.

6. I look forward to meeting with you -- and perhaps with Mr. Tom Reynolds, et al. in person.

7. What is to be done to discuss School Board attorney conflict of interest, mismanagement and bid rigging concerns?

Thank you.
With kindest regards, I am,
Sincerely yours,
Ed Slavin

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