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School board continues with plans for stadium renovations, while postponing action

POSTED January 5, 2010 11:53 p.m.
The face-lift for Joe Debely is moving forward even with a law suit filed on Dec. 24, 2009, requesting a halt of all future plans to continue the Joe Debely Stadium Modernization project. And Modesto attorney Richard Harriman had a few words to say about it.  
At the Turlock Unified School District board of trustees meeting on Tuesday, the trustees were faced with two decisions of approving a lease/leaseback agreement for the Joe Debely construction projects along with the services of an inspection agency during the four months of the modernization project construction.
With Harriman in the audience and speaking up during public comment sections, the board decided to push back the agreement with the inspection agency until the next school board meeting on Jan. 19, when more of the litigation concerning Joe Debely will be determined.
“I ask the board to be kind enough to table the item until the next board meeting, after our early meeting with legal counsel on Thursday,” Harriman said.
Harriman is the legal representative of the Turlock Citizens Coalition, a group of Debely neighbors who are contesting renovations. The Modesto attorney kept the board under a watchful eye, as they approved the lease/leaseback agreement but agreed to hold any items concerning this agreement, along with any financial obligations, until Friday.
On Thursday, legal counsel for the board and the Turlock Citizens Coalition will meet to discuss the law suit filed.
The lease/leaseback delivery method for the stadium’s construction projects will allow the district to select the most qualified construction contractors for the lowest cost, Felt said at Tuesday’s meeting.
This agreement allows TUSD to request qualifications of the contractors interested in the project and they can select the ones most qualified, he said. Out of those qualified contractors, TUSD can select the contractors with the lowest cost amount to do the project.
The contractors will then lease Joe Debely Stadium for $1 from TUSD to then hire their own qualified sub contractors to do the job for the lowest cost amount, said TUSD Deputy Superintendent Ed Felt.
The board was scheduled to consider a contract with United Inspections, Inc. for $24,600. The inspection services will be funded through Redevelopment Agency funds allocated to the district for the stadium renovations.
The inspection services will include attendance of all required meetings, site work inspection, utility installations, preparing and submitting all required DSA inspection documentation and semi-monthly reports, according to a memo from United Inspection, Inc. to the TUSD. Inspection services will start in May and last four months during the construction at Joe Debely Stadium. United Inspections, Inc. is charging $6,150 per month with an hourly fee for $68.50, if the project last longer than four months, according to the TUSD board of trustees packet.
Both of these agenda items are the next steps in the Joe Debely project.
To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail mmartens@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.

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