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Arlington School Board Taps Abingdon's Contingency Funds

The Arlington Sun Gazette reported yesterday that at its February 2 meeting, the Arlington School Board "chipped away slightly at the contingency funds for rebuilding Abingdon Elementary School." However, they added that staff thinks, "there will be enough remaining to finish the project on budget."

The Sun Gazette went on to explain:

"School Board members agreed to fund nearly $131,000 for a switchgear replacement for electrical systems. Previous change orders to the original contract used about $26,600 in contingency funds.

"But there remains $2.63 million in contingency cash in the nearly $32 million school project, and school officials expressed optimism that the funding would be enough to get the project done."

The Superintendent's report to the School Board is Item G.3. on the School Board's February 2, 2017 agenda. The item involves a construction contract change order. Staff's 5-page PowerPoint presentation is also available.

One item in the staff report is especially disconcerting, however. Specifically, Note 1, which reads:

"Note 1: Due to favorable bids the School Board approved adding some project scope items that had been previously removed during the design phase for cost control purposes back into the project."

If your humble scribe reads that correctly, staff is telling taxpayers they are going to spend tax dollars no mater what. If the bids come in high, your tax dollars will pay for it. And, if the bids come in low, staff will find enough bells and whistles to spend your taxes anyway. Whatever happened to the idea that only those taxpayers dollars are  to be spent that are absolutely necessary?

Growls readers with questions or comments about construction or contingencies should direct them to the Arlington School Board. Just click-on the link below:

  • Call the School Board office at (703) 228-6015

And tell them ACTA sent you.


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