Ptacek Unhappy With Contractor’s Pace & Errors on Washington School Renovation

By Benjamin Cox on December 27, 2022 at 12:45pm

Work being performed at Washington Elementary on Dec. 8 (Jacksonville School District 117 Facebook)

Jacksonville School District 117 Superintendent Steve Ptacek is unhappy with the pace of the general contractor on the Washington School renovation project.

Ptacek says that Johnco Construction, based out of Mackinaw, has slowed down its pace on the project since the District 117 school board voted last month to wait on having students return to the building: “We are stressing to the general contractor Johnco that the pace of the school right now needs to be picked up. We only made a decision about a month ago that we were not going to be able to put the kids into the school for this January based upon the delay in the electrical panel that isn’t going to come in until May. Since then, I haven’t seen anywhere near the progress on the school that would have happened with the rest of the school if we were going to have kids in there in January. I’m having to stress to them that us not putting the kids in the building for second semester doesn’t mean pull off the throttle and slow the pace down. That’s something that I’m doing my diligence and stressing the necessity that they need to get the pace back up.”

Ptacek says that the slowing of the pace isn’t the only problem that the project is currently facing: “The electrical panel, they are saying, is right on track to come in May. We do have a back-up plan for the minute we hear about any delays. We would go with two smaller panels and a rental fee to replace that, so we have a back-up plan in place if there are any delays on that. I’m really concerned right now. We’ve got a big issue going on with the bricks that are going up around the gym. If you drive by, you’ll see that one side of the brick is a darker color than the other side of the brick. The brick supplier sent two different lots, and it’s something that I’ve stressed to the company is not acceptable. From my stance and the board’s stance is that the wrong-colored lot is going to have to come down and the proper brick that we signed the contract and the agreement for needs to go up.”

Ptacek didn’t provide a timeline last Thursday on when the correct-color brick is expected to arrive on the site and go up.