School System Facilities - Part II - Facilities Assessment Request for Proposal

Since I first posted the Facilities Review regarding the three options proposed by the Department of Education, I have had several people ask: “where does it go from here”. Although it is unclear, from prior Board minutes, the School Board is seeking bids on a Facilities Assessment. 


A draft Request for Proposal (“RFP”) was circulated to School Board members prior to their meeting on April 4, 2018.  According to the draft RFP, the School Board is seeking bids from outside firms to:


ascertain the present condition of each facility, and to assist GCPS in forecasting capital funding requirements to address deficiencies. The assessment will also be used to establish priorities for the maintenance, repair, enhancement, or replacement of facilities and their component systems. Further, the analysis as presented in the proposed assessment should be useful when identifying and justifying needs to support a future bond issue.  (emphasis added).


From estimates I have heard, the Facilities Assessment, will cost in excess of $100,000.00 to be paid to outside architectural consultants.  Unlike the Facilities Review, a free study conducted by the Commonwealth, the Facilities Assessment will be paid for by the School System.  To put the cost in perspective, $100,000 is nearly equivalent to a one cent increase in the property tax rate for the County.  As with the Facilities Review, I offer no opinion as to necessity or cost of the Facilities Assessment.  Rather, this is being posted to allow others to review the information and follow up as they deem fit. 


From the May 3, 2018, Board Minutes, the RFP will be put before the Board for approval at the May 17, 2018 Board meeting.  Click here to view the RFP.     

School System Facility Evaluation & Efficiency Review

Pursuant to a Virginia Freedom of Information Act request, Giles County Public Schools produced the Facility Evaluation & Efficiency Review dated March 2, 2018.  The Review was conducted by the Virginia Department of Education at the request of the School Board.  The review identified three options involving the potential closing of some schools and relocation of students from other schools.  I encourage you to review this document as the adoption of any of the three options will affect the students, teachers, and taxpayers of Giles County.  In making this document available, I express no opinion as to the Review or the options presented therein.  To view the Review, click here.

Thanks to AM Hodge Podge

This past Saturday, I was honored to be a guest on the AM Hodge Podge radio show on 710AM-WFNR.  The show is hosted by two terrific hosts who work as Ameriprise financial advisors in Radford, Keith Weltens and Mark Tapp.  Keith and Mark put on an entertaining hour of radio from 9AM to 10AM every Saturday on WFNR.  If you missed the show, you can listen to the podcast by following the link in this post.  Thanks again to Keith and Mark for having me on the show. 


The Arbitration Clause: Is it right for you?

Arbitration clauses are in numerous contracts ranging from simple consumer credit contracts to million-dollar asset purchase agreements.  Often times, clients view arbitration as a way to save on legal costs and reach a more prompt resolution in the event of a dispute between the parties to a contract.  Often times, arbitration is right for the specific situation and results in a quicker and cheaper resolution to a problem than civil litigation in traditional courts.   However, based on my experience in handling many arbitrations, the cost savings and rapid resolution imagined by the parties may not always be reality.  That chance, coupled with some of the limitations that may be imposed by the arbitration process as compared to traditional civil litigation in a court of law requires parties considering arbitration clauses to carefully consider their specific situation.  

A couple of years ago, I wrote an article about the pros and cons of arbitration and arbitration clauses.  The article discusses many of the issues that parties to any contract should consider before inserting or agreeing to an arbitration clause.  I have linked the article below.  Before entering a contract containing an arbitration clause, talk to an attorney to see if the proposed method of arbitration is right for your specific situation.  


Sage Advice for Commercial Litigants

My former law partner, Alex Barrett, wrote an interesting article about commercial banking litigation and steps banks should take when retaining counsel.  Alex and I worked together on a wide variety of commercial disputes involving banks and other businesses during my time in North Carolina.  The advice in the article details items to help banks deal manage both a lawsuit and the relationship with their lawyer.  Alex's advice is applicable to any business person facing existing or potential litigation.  Click on the link below to read the article and its helpful advice.