Waterbury school board renews O&G contract

Photo courtesy of Rep-Am
November 5, 2015

The Board of Education unanimously approved a multimillion-dollar contract with its long-term construction consultant Thursday without comment or question.

Two representatives from Torrington-based O&G Industries attended Thursday's Board of Education meeting, but sat quietly in the audience ready to answer questions that didn't come. The contract of up to 5 years and $3.8 million was approved among a bundle of proposals under the board's "consent calendar."

O&G has worked as a district consultant for the past decade, helping to plan and oversee hundreds of millions of dollars in construction. In that time, there have been renovations or expansions of Kennedy, Crosby and Wilby high schools; reconstruction of the Enlightenment School; construction of a new high school and four elementary schools; and an addition to Wallace Middle School.

This is the first time since O&G was first hired that the contract was put out to bid. A committee picked to review bids recommended O&G to the full school board.

Board of Education President Charles L. Stango said members are obviously pleased with O&G's performance and so were comfortable renewing.

"I think it boils down to trust," Stango said. "We trust them."

O&G bills the city based on the amount of work performed and typically does not bill the maximum allowed under contract. In the past 10 years, O&G's bills to the city have come in a total of $1.6 million under the maximum allowed by their contracts, according to school officials.

The contract time period is backdated to Sept. 1 of this year and locks the city in with O&G for three years at a cost of $2.6 million. After that, the board has the option of extending the contract for $598,385 for a fourth year and $590,756 for a fifth year.

The contract still requires approval from the Board of Aldermen.