Overfill payment subject of negotiations between SD 70 and Yellowridge

School District 70 officials are mum about talks with Yellowridge Construction over who is going to pay for overfill at the new ADSS site.

The issue of fill on the site of the new $60 million high school on Roger Street in Port Alberni has reared its head again.

Officials from School District 70 and Yellowridge Construction conducted a tour of the site on Tuesday.

And SD70 secretary treasurer Jerry Linning gave an update of the project at the school board meeting on Tuesday night.

District officials are tight-lipped about exactly how much more fill there was, if they are going to have to pay more and where the money will come from.

The matter arose last year when Ted Walton’s company was hired by project contractor Yellowridge Construction to remove 36,775 cubic metres of fill and bring in 13,800 cubic metres of rock. Walton subsequently removed 100,000 cubic metres more fill than his contract called for, he said.

Yellowridge paid $1.8 million to Walton, who said he was owed more than $1 million more for excess fill removal.

Another contractor was brought in and the remaining fill removed.

The school is scheduled to open for the first day of school this September as planned, Linning said.

But the issue of the fill never went away.

The matter is the source of continued negotiations between the district and Yellowridge, Linning said.

He wouldn’t confirm the amount of fill estimated or taken out. Nor would he confirm if the $1 million bill from Walton was the subject of the discussions with Yellowridge.

“We’re in negotiations and I’m not going to discuss those figures,” he said.

The school district and Yellowridge are the only two parties involved in resolving the matter, Linning said.

The school’s $60 million budget was fixed. The project has a contingency fund but Linning wouldn’t say if it would be tapped to pay for hauling away the extra fill.

Calls to the Ministry of Education about whether they have been approached to help pay for the excess fill weren’t returned by deadline.

Linning wouldn’t say when the negotiations were set to conclude, or when the public will be informed about the development. “I can’t comment on that now,” Linning said.

The school’s education wing and shop class area will be finished by July, and the gymnasiums and library will be finished by August.

But the theatre won’t be finished before students move in; a November completion date is estimated, Linning said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com