Admittedly, after being in construction management for 25 years, I have a more cautious view of contracting than some.
However, I have followed the Dixon School District's recent desire to close schools and remodel others. I may have missed something, but it’s not clear to me whether the work being done by the district meets compliance with the provisions of Section 10-20.21 of the Illinois School Code.
This section requires all contracts in excess of $10,000 to be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder as determined by the competitive bidding process, except for contracts that are exempted from the competitive bidding requirement (the district is not exempted). Section 10-21.21 also contains requirements for sealed bids, public bid openings, advertisements, and notice to bidders.
I remember seeing something about a window replacement contract, and now I hear of over $2 million in work. Yet, I have never seen an announcement for this work in the paper to meet section 10-20.21. I hope that the district is not falling in line with the “Rita doctrine” that caused so much damage to the city.
I don’t understand why the vote to close Lincoln was not delayed until bids were received. Why vote until the major work is bid in accordance with the law? Then, if there was money left, Lincoln could stay open for a couple of more years, allaying many parents' concerns. Seems to me we are short a few facts.
If, in fact, the current contracting process for the district is not in compliance to Section 10-20.21 of the code, perhaps the board can write in and explain why – especially those board members who voted for the entire contract work scope, assuming it was a complete scope, and it was voted on.