Contractors have still not been paid for an outdoor bleacher project at Fulton High School, that has been plagued with problems from the start.

The River Bend School District has been trying to communicate with the contractor on the project, BR Bleachers, to ensure the sub-contractor Fulton Concrete Construction gets paid for their work on the project.

“This has been a frustrating construction project,” Superintendent Chuck Holliday said.

At the school board meeting on Feb. 21 an employee from Fulton Concrete Construction who worked on the project said he had only been paid part of what he was entitled to. The superintendent and board members said they would look into the issue further in order to resolve this, taking legal action if need be. The board expressed their shock and concern on the issue.

“I didn’t realize local contractors were involved,” Vice President Jane Orman-Luker said. “I thought it was just people from the bleacher company. I am embarrassed.”

Holliday says the district is trying one last time to resolve the issue with the company currently and will take legal action if it is not resolved soon. He says the company has been very difficult to communicate with.

“We will act on this as soon as possible,” Secretary Eric Fish said.

School District Architect Scott Johnson has been in contact with the owner of BR Bleachers Terry O’Hagen since the last board meeting to discuss the issue. Johnson says that the company has sent a packet of contracts and information to the sub-contractor. He will follow up with the sub-contractor to see if they approve the documents and agree to the terms. If they agree, the issue will be resolved. If not, Johnson says he will organize a face-to-face meeting for both companies and the district.

BR Bleachers has not received any money for the project yet, according to Johnson. The district has contacted the company several times asking them to submit a pay request, so they could get paid for their work.   

The project has had complications from the start. The school district accepted a low bid from BR Bleachers, a company out of Woodstock, Ill. in July. All companies that submitted bids were made aware of the Sept. 9 deadline for the project. The school board met with the contractor and confirmed the deadline. The company later said if they had to do specifications and engineer drawings, the project would be late. The work did not begin until the week of Oct. 31.

The company offered additional work to make up for the delay, such as going through the school’s indoor bleachers and checking the structures and to tighten or add bolts where needed.

Johnson says the company has had a very good reputation and this is the first time they have heard of anything going wrong with one of their projects.

Follow Natalie Conrad on Twitter @NatalieConradCH.

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