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Roofing specs should have allowed substitutions

POSTED April 13, 2017 12:38 p.m.

Dear Editor:
The Great Bend Tribune article concerning the Great Bend High School roof replacement April 11, 2017, failed to mention a few details. Great Bend USD 428 invited eight registered vendors to submit a bid on Great Bend High School Roof Replacement. In this package there was a particular specification that requested a 10-year warranty for a foam and specific coating system. The specifications were written in such a way that eliminated other vendors from submitting a bid for this project. There was one bid for the amount of $286,522.
The school district would not accept any substitution or alternative system. After reviewing the bidding package I informed the school officials that this type of specifications would prohibit other vendors the opportunity to submit a bid.
The operation policy of the USD 428 Board of Education in regard to purchasing is based on Kansas statutes which define the purchasing procedure that must be followed by all Unified School Districts of Kansas. Kansas statutes allow alternative and equal substitution of materials.
In the past USD 428 has allowed vendors to apply and substitute material of equal quality with the same warranty or even better.
Single-ply rubber roof systems over the existing flat roofs with 15-year manufacture warranty costs $3.25 per square foot. The system that USD 428 selected is urethane foam with coating with a 10-year warranty at the cost of about $6 per square foot. You do the math. Who knows what the actual savings would have been with competitive bidding?

David Tabrizi
Great Bend

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