Ground breaking was set for 2 PM, Sunday, May 31st at the site. Invitations were sent to community leaders, our student mailing list, Steering Committee members, members of the Municipal Art Commission and the City of Houston Parks & Recreation Department. Various members of the board were assigned responsibilities for the groundbreaklng service.
The board approved, on June 1, 1998, DCW’s proposed architectural contract. The president, Clayton Lee, appointed a construction committee to work with the architect. Members named were Don Henderson, Paul Carr of the Heights Association, Leonard Ball, R. G. Musgrove, Billy Lindley and the president.
At the monthly meeting of August 3, 1998, Conrad Walton, the architect, presented a report on design progress. Based upon this, Don Henderson moved that our goal be increased to $300.000 from the previous $200.000 figure.
D & W Construction Company, the builder selected by the construction c:ommittee, met with the board on October 5, 1998 and presented their contract for $336,289 based on the architect’s cost estimate of $230.000.
The construction committce met on Decernber 7, 1998 with the architect and D & W to discuss their price, after receiving sub-contractor bids. After comparing the bids vs the architect’s estimate, R. G. Musgrove noted the difference of $94.123.78. Members of the construction committee expressed their dissatisfuction with these cost estimates.
The board voted on January 8, 1999, to notify the architect that we were dissatisfied with the D & W bid and we will not continue with the current contractor. A Mr. Willis was used by DCW to provide the estimate of $230.000 originally furnished us. When the construction committee met with the DCW and the contractor, D & W, it turned out that the W in D & W was the same Mr. Willis. When pressed for the reason the quote was $94.000 higher, the committee was given the feeble answer that the bids just came in higher. We never received a satisfactory answer as to why Willis’ first estimate was so far off. Because of the committee’s dissatisfaction with their response, they recommended to the board that we not use D & W.
The board set a new goal of $42S.OOO and decided to push ahead with fund-raising before taking any further steps on selecting a contractor.
Construction by SpowGlass
On April 12, 1999, the construction committee reported that they had met with representatives of SpawGlass Construction Company. They presented a construction cost of $230,000 using the modified material list to replace cast stone with granite as in the original plans. Using granite, the new cost was $283,483. The board voted to instruct the DCW to change the spec back to granite and to ask SpawGlasst for a contract in the amount of $283,483.
A dedication committee was appointed and instructed to begin planning for an early November dedication. This was based on the contractor’s forecast of completion.