Dorchester District Two is trying to figure out its next move after construction bids for two elementary schools came back way over estimates.
"Nobody was as embarrassed as me," said Bob Folkman, the district's capital improvement facilitator. "The contractors I'd been in touch with didn't see it coming."
The board has scheduled a special meeting at 3:30 p.m., Thursday at the district's administrative offices to deal with the issue.
On March 24, board members fired M.B. Kahn, the contractor that had been selected to handle all of DD2's construction projects. The board said M. B. Kahn's cost estimates for the projects were more expensive than district estimates.
However, on May 21, the first of the two elementary schools received a low bid for $20.9 million - closer to M.B. Kahn's prediction of $19.8 million than Folkman's budget's prediction of $15.4 million.
The low bid places the first elementary school 36 percent over budget.
The other elementary school's low bid came in at $19.8 million, compared to the district's internal estimate of $15.45 million. M.B. Kahn had estimated $18.8 million including an $865,000 contingency.
Combined the two schools have a low bid of $40.68 million - 32 percent over budget in total.
While presenting an overall update on the construction projects Monday, Folkman assured board members he would work with them to figure out their next move.
"We have a long way to go," he said.
During executive session Monday night, board members met with their attorney William F. "Bick" Halligan to go over "unresolved contractual matters" regarding school construction. No motions were made during executive session.
Chairwoman Gail Hughes is optimistic the board can move forward after Thursday's meeting.
"Hopefully we'll be finalizing some things," Hughes said.