BL meeting moves construction forward, draws BLEA protesters

LISBON – The Beaver Local Board of Education moved the district’s K-12 school construction project a step closer to initiation during a special meeting held Monday evening at the administration building in Lisbon.

Board members voted to approve a guaranteed maximum price of $4,168,199 to be paid to Hammond Construction to complete the project. The figure includes $3,865,745 to cover subcontracted work, $155,832 for construction personnel costs, and Hammond’s fee of $53,491.

The project to construct a new K-12 school is estimated to cost $52.2 million. The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission is contributing $32.4 million towards the project.

According to the resolution, board members met with representatives from the OFCC, Olsavsky Jaminet Architects, and Hammond, the district’s construction manager at-risk for the project, on July 12 to review and finalize the GMP.

Although no other business arose during the brief meeting, a contingent from the Beaver Local Education Association nevertheless packed into the small meeting room. It was another of the quiet protests BLEA members have staged at nearly every school board meeting since contract negotiations between the two parties reached a formal impasse in February.

“We are here to visually remind the board of education that we are united in our effort to achieve the fair and equitable contract we deserve,” said BLEA Vice President Jill Riccardo in a statement released after the meeting. She wrote that, as important as a new building and materials are to educating students, teachers are the key element in the process.

“This is about respect. We want our school board and administration to respect us for the hard work we do and the past sacrifices we’ve made for the district,” Riccardo said.

Another negotiation session between union and district representatives is scheduled for Friday, July 26, the first since May. After the meeting, BLEA members expressed optimism about the upcoming session.