Construction delays postpone DOE playground - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Construction delays postpone DOE playground

MILILANI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - There are 1,670 students at Mililani Middle School patiently waiting for the completion of an outdoor play court. The roof and steel beams stand but construction on the covered playground remains at a standstill. The job should have been done ten months ago.

"It has gone on way too long," said Dann Carlson, the Department of Education's assistant superintendent of Facilities.

He said P.E.R. Inc dropped the ball on building the sports court. The contractor was the lowest bidder for the $1.8 million project. Carlson said there's no excuse for the delay but P.E.R. has had personnel problems.

"I can tell you that we've seen a lot of the turnover in the supervisory positions that are leading the construction out there," he said.

Mililani Middle needs a covered court. When it's completed and it rains, students will still be able to play basketball or volleyball during gym and recess.

House Rep. Beth Fukumoto said the community has been patient but parents are frustrated.

"It's been frustrating that it's taken a long time to get up and running. And now to have it pause, it's very problematic," she said.

Carlson said the DOE will penalize P.E.R. and deduct per-day construction costs.

"We are not dragging our feet," he said. "Our construction managers are actively involved in trying to hold the contractor accountable."

The court at Mililani Middle is one of many construction projects the department is juggling. Fukumoto believes the DOE needs tighter control over construction contracts.

"It takes it too long to get it out to bid to begin with," she said. "Once the project starts we've had so many errors."

The school is asking the DOE for a new deadline to tell parents.  Carlson said he doesn't know when that day will be.

"We want nothing more than to see the sixth- through eighth-graders at Mililani Middle have that covered play court," Calrson said.

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