Document sheds light on $1.8 million underestimate for Normal School reno
Amid a $1.8 million renovation underestimate, a new document shows the city may not have provided all the paperwork it had on the London Normal School to contractors bidding on the renovation.
Auditors are expected to investigate later this year after a 2006 report came to light that indicated serious repairs were needed to the storm water and sewer system.
Construction firms planning to bid on the project had asked to see any reports the city had on the building's condition.
The city provided a 'Designated Substance Survey report,' which provided information about asbestos, and indicated "no other reports are available."
However, city hall had a 'Building Condition Assessment' from 2006, which indicates the need for, "substantial civil engineering retrofit(s) inclusive of new storm water pipes to manager the storm water flow."
As for why it wasn't provided, a statement from the city's director of communication, Rob Paynter, states, "The report was from 2006 and was not considered current or relevant at the time of the issuance of the [Request for Proposal]."
But he goes on to suggest part of the report may have been relevant to the error admitted by staff.
"The 2006 report does identify replacement of the storm and sanitary sewers of which we noted at the Oct. 20th Corporate Services Committee meeting was an error on our part."
Renovations continue at the London Normal School after city council agreed to borrow about $1.8 million to cover the budget overage.
Councillor Harold Usher led the push for an internal audit of the tendering process, and says contractors had to estimate costs with limited information.
"The fact that we told the contractor there was no other reports existing...there was no place else that they could find this information."
He stresses the audit isn't about assigning blame, but rather finding ways to avoid repeating errors.
"It's better that we admit these things and move on. Make sure in the future we point them out so they don't happen again."