This article originally ran in the Feb. 18, 2022 issue of Progress Times.
The Mission CISD board of trustees and administrators convened for school board meetings nearly every week of 2022 to discuss the progress at Tom Landry Hall of Fame Stadium. Each week representatives from Rick Hinojosa Engineering and G&G Construction presented the change orders required to steer the derailed project back on track after months of delay. At the Feb. 2 and Feb. 9 school board meetings, the trustees approved long-awaited changes that will help move the project forward.
The most substantial change to the contract is now the stadium repairs are separated into two projects — the home side and the visitor side, with the home side being the priority. G&G Construction, also known as RG Enterprises LLC, will submit a new schedule of values, credits and a new timeline to continue and complete the home side as scheduled.
The visitor side will now be considered a new project. Mission CISD will need to follow protocol for the visitor side project, which means putting it out to bid and then approving a new, separate contract. Construction on the visitor side will cease entirely until then.
District leaders decided to divide the stadium repairs into two projects with the hopes of being able to utilize the facilities sooner. The idea is to hold games and events at the stadium and only use the home side for seating.
However, there was also the matter of exceeding the 25 percent threshold. Legally, MCISD can only approve change orders at 25 percent of the contract, but when G&G kept uncovering issues during the repair process, the scope of work kept changing, and the cost kept increasing. The district was not yet in jeopardy of exceeding the threshold before the contract adjustment, but removing the visitor side from the scope of work does help to avoid it happening.
Some of the issues G&G has reported so far are a lack of pier reinforcement, concrete flatwork incorrectly placed and electrical conduits that need to be repaired or abandoned. The contractors discovered these issues from the previous renovations in 2017, which Holchemont LTD completed.
In May 2021, the board approved a $1,024,850 contract with G&G to repair both sets of bleachers. But since the parties agreed to remove construction on the visitor side from the contract, the district would receive a credit of $166,235.09. However, the cost to repair the unforeseen conditions on the home side totals $155,975.50, making the new contract $1,014,590.41, which is about $11,000 less than the original contract.
The board unanimously approved all the changes at both meetings. But before the vote on Feb. 9, trustee Iris Iglesias asked Assistant Superintendent for Operations Rick Rivera how he felt about the change orders the contractor and engineer presented. “We rely on you,” she said to him.
“We all know that we need to get this stadium fixed. We’ve been going through this, and work has stopped since last year. Personally, I believe the most important thing is to have that stadium ready for our students and our community,” Rivera said. “And they’ve worked hard, we all have, and this is the best that they can present. I think we need to focus on having the stadium ready for August for our students and our community.