SUHSD speaks out over contractor dispute

SUHSD speaks out over contractor dispute

SALINAS, Calif. - The Salinas Union High School District board voted on Tuesday to approve emergency work at the new Rancho San Juan High School in Salinas and the ability to hire another contractor to complete unfinished, remedial projects if needed. 

The general contractor originally assigned to the project, Dilbeck and Sons, told KION they had concerns about what the district was doing. Their lawyer said they already finished work on many of the items listed as incomplete and were not ready to reimburse the district the funds they were already paid for the work. 

On Wednesday, SUHSD Superintendent Dan Burns and representatives with Dilbeck and Sons met at a conference room Rancho San Juan High and reached an understanding for moving forward.

"It's been a long process and we're really excited that the school's done," said Burns, during a tour of the new school campus on Wednesday. 

Burns said there is, in fact, a short list of cosmetic and remedial work left to be done at Ranch San Juan High that all originally totaled over $300,000. One example includes door hinges. 

"There's a couple doors in different places on the campus that need an adjustment to the hinges or an additional hinge added," said Burns. "That doesn't stop us from opening school. It's just an item that we would like to have fixed before we get our kids on campus."

Completing that list has been a source on contention between the district and Dilbeck and Sons. Burns acknowledged the contractor did finish a number of items, like repairing cracked floors. 

And it seems SUHSD is now allowing Dilbeck and Sons to complete as much as they can on the list. That could mean the district will not have to hire an emergency contractor to finish up. 

"We have commitments from the contractor to complete those things that are within their scope," said Burns. "And for anything that is not within their scope, then we'll be looking forward to, when we take ownership, getting those things completed." 

While Dilbeck and sons is not being terminated from the project per se, any items left uncompleted would be removed from the original contract. 

Burns said once a certificate of completion is registered with Monterey County, the district will take over ownership of the campus from the contractors. 

"And then we'll have summer school here. So it's exciting. It's exciting that we have this opportunity to open this new building up," he said. 

Burns said they have an ongoing relationship with Dilbeck and Sons and the school opening is a positive thing for both parties. He also is confident Rancho San Juan High School will be ready to go for summer school and for the fall session. 

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