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When you fail to plan...

The San Juan Unified School District's construction project at Creekside is not going as smoothly they thought it would. There have been several change orders and some redesigns and a major toxic substance problem came up. Thise things all have monkeyed with the schedule a teeny bit. There are also some lawsuits, but so far the school district has acted like the suits are of no consequence.  Work at the Creekside job site has marched right along.

So it was no surprise to the project's immediate neighbors when the school district sent them a 2-page flyer saying work would be done during the wee hours. The school district asserts that the county's code requirements which limit when construction can take place have exceptions that allow for after-hours construction due to "unforeseen and unavoidable" conditions. You know, it's been hot and so that's reasonable, right? Nope. Normal construction management practices build contingency strategies into their work schedules. That's not what's happening here. It's one thing to continue work beyond the allowed closing time if a legitimate, truly unforeseen circumstance comes up - like a if water main breaks during a concrete pour, or a SMUD power outage happens, or when a thunderstorm or a bomb cyclone creates unsafe working conditions, or if a wildfire stops work. The code exceptions are also about preventing financial hardship to the project. That's laughable in the case of the school district, which has already over-funded the project with a contractor-friendly financing gimmick know as a "Lease-lease back" contract, executed even before the public was told about the project. Furthermore, the San Juan Unified School District is not on the verge of bankruptcy and has a big stash of school bond money it plays with all the time. It's not hard to figure out from the school district's flyer that their real excuse is "because I want to". That's not valid.

Here's hoping the County will step in and say ixnay. Yeah, we know that's a fantasy, but it is good to have goals.

(Update: According to people who answer the phone at Supervisor Desmond's office, he will not get involved. 311-connect is probably the best option for complaints: Call 916-875-4311 or 311 or visit the Sacramento County 311 Connect on-line page at or use the 311 mobile app.)

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Page 1 of the flyer. Hmm, might sound reasonable....but how can it be unforeseen if you schedule it?

And what does page 2 say?

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Page 2 of the flyer. Read the fine print: the exceptions cited don't apply to this project.


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