Parents of RHS assault victim hired to build school’s bleachers |

Parents of RHS assault victim hired to build school’s bleachers

JOHN GARDNERGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colo. Kuersten Concrete in Rifle has been contracted by the Garfield School District Re-2 as construction manager/general contractor to oversee the construction of the bleachers and press box at the athletic field of Coal Ridge High School, and the renovations to the district’s transportation facility. Owners John and Alice Kuersten have been at odds with the school district since their daughter was involved in an altercation with another female student at Rifle High School in February. The Kuerstens voiced concerns over how long it took for their daughter to receive medical attention following the altercation. It’s been reported that the Kuerstens pulled their daughter out of Re-2 schools after the incident.”We’ve been doing work with them long before the incident at Rifle High School,” said Re-2 director of facilities Craig Jay. “This is a professional business and that is the way that we’ve dealt with it.”Work on the bleachers and press box began this week and is expected to be complete by the end of August.The Kuerstens were contracted for the work last fall, around September or October according to Jay. The district doesn’t “award” bids to companies per se, he said. And added that most often there is a “process” to determine if the company qualifies for the project. If they do, the district then contacts the company to help them determine costs and other details for the project.”They help us design and build a building that’s cost effective,” Jay said.Jay indicated that the district has been working with Dave Hillbrand, construction manager for Kuersten Concrete, to work out the details of the project.The district had budgeted $160,000 for the project that will consist of bleachers to accommodate 600 people and a two-story press box. The hard bid from Kuersten Concrete came in at $201,000, about a 20-percent increase from what the district had previously estimated.”An estimate of the project was compiled where (the district) brought in parts and pieces and got estimates of the price,” Jay said. “When we brought (Hillbrand) in, he helped us figure out some of the unknowns.”Those unknowns, such as scoreboard, electrical work, and similar aspects such as a contractors fee that contractors charge to oversee construction of the project, are what contributed to the higher price tag.”It’s not just a press box and bleachers,” Jay said. “There are a lot of other factors that needed to be considered.”This particular project is paid for by the capital improvement funds, not through the 2006 bond program approved by voters. Re-2 had a budget of $1.1 million for capital improvements during the 2006-2007 school year to upgrade all 11 schools districtwide.According to Jay, all improvements are prioritized whether it be technical, facility improvements or safety and security issues. Those deemed most important are dealt with first and so on.Kuersten Concrete did not return call seeking comment.Contact John Gardner: 384-9114jgardner@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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