The Wake County Board of Education Tuesday approved a guaranteed maximum price for the 52 bids on individual elements of the Rolesville High School project.
The proposed project budget is $74.8 million — more than $1 million less than in the budget presented to the board in April.
Some board members expressed weariness with the project and an eagerness to move forward, even as Superintendent Tony Tata and staff presented a new proposal a year after the bidding process was closed.
Tata had heard of a firm that could do the project for less. Hite Associates completed a similar facility in Johnson County for about $5 million less than the current winning bids.
Board Member Debra Goldman said considering a new proposal could be unfair. Some firms approached the board a year ago, claiming that they could do the project for as much as $8 million to $12 million less, she said.
“Why this is happening now is making me a little uncomfortable,” Goldman said. “Who is this firm and why are they getting preferential treatment now? I don’t feel comfortable with opening up the process when others came to us before.”
Board member Kevin Hill expressed concern that the Hite building in Johnson County provided less instructional space than the current design for Rolesville.
The current winning bids award more than one quarter of the total project cost to minority- and women-owned firms.
Rolesville High School is projected to open in 2014.