Citizens Construction Program Advisory Committee
Annual Report to the BUSD and the Citizens of Berkeley


The Citizens Construction Program Advisory Committee was formed by the Berkeley School Board to assist their oversight of the District's extensive construction and rehabilitation activities.

The Citizens Construction Program Advisory Committee meets on the last Thursday of the month in the Instructional Conference Room at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way from 7:00 PM until 8:30 PM. Meetings are open to the public.

The Committee meets to address issues raised by the public and to review the progress of construction activities through reports from the District and from sub-committee inquiries.

The Committee makes this annual report to the Board, the Citizens, and the Superintendent in December.


The first meeting of the Committee was held in September 1995. The Committee is off to a good start, having successfully adopted the operating charter (attached) and begun the formation of workgroups and sub-committees.

We have received and initiated review of a number of District policies and procedures.

We have received a request from the LeConte Site Committee and are looking into the issues they raised


In 1996, the Citizens Construction Program Advisory Committee expects to be conducting reviews of the important issues surrounding the District's construction efforts. Focus areas established for the next year include:

Citizens Construction Program Advisory Committee
Annual Report to the BUSD and the Citizens of Berkeley


Vic Kley, Chair Doug Abadie Agnes Farris
Dorothy Lindheim Corvin Tademy Bruce Wicinas


The Citizens Construction Program Advisory Committee was formed by the Berkeley School Board to assist their oversight of the extensive construction and rehabilitation activities of the District.

The Citizens Construction Program Advisory Committee meets on the fourth Thursday of the month in the BSEP Conference Room at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way from 7:30 PM until 9:00 PM. Meetings are open to the public.

The Committee meets to address issues raised by the public and to review the progress of construction activities through reports from the District and from sub-committee investigations.

The Committee makes this annual report to the Board, the Citizens, and the Superintendent in December.

The Committee is presenting this report focussed on five areas of concern: Energy Policy Implementation, Computer Control Systems, Budget Monitoring, Public Information and Moving.

The Board is encouraged to appoint members who have the time to effectively contribute to the responsibilities of the Committee. Board Members are urged not to appoint members who have missed more than 10 meetings.

We hope that the Board will consider the recommendations contained in this report as it reviews its annual Facilities Plan. We recognize that some of the recommendations may have cost implications.


The Committee will continue to monitor and supplement the five areas of concern we reported out this year. In addition, we will pursue any new issues as they are presented by the School Directors and the public along with the following topics:

Review in depth the circumstances and elements that have and are contributing to Construction Cost Inflation across the District's construction efforts.

Examine and report on the Emergency Services and Resources in new and existing schools with special emphasis on earthquake and urban fire situations.

Energy, Environmental, Construction Documents, Seismic Safety

The Sub-Committee has focussed on the implementation of the District policies concerning Indoor Air Quality and Energy. In this year the primary focus has been the energy policy.

Policy Statement

Design for new and substantially renovated buildings shall be demonstrated to exceed State energy code (Title 24) by a minimum of 35%.

Sub-Committee Objectives

It was the Sub-Committee's goal to review the analysis, options and decisions made for three sites (Cragmont, Malcolm X and Longfellow) and make a detailed report on energy policy implementation. These three sites include one entirely new building (Cragmont), one entire renovation (Malcolm X) and one which includes both types of construction (Longfellow).

Sub-Committee Findings


The Sub-Committee attended a life cycle cost alternatives workshop on February 20, 1996. The design team, led by Elbasani and Logan Architects (ELS), presented a comprehensive energy feasibility study and energy conservation recommendations. The team demonstrated a clear understanding of the goals outlined in the Policy and addressed the staff's concerns regarding maintenance and operational needs. Through the efforts of the entire design team, it is estimated that Cragmont will exceed Ti


The Sub-Committee attended a life cycle cost alternatives workshop on March 13, 1996. The design team, led by VBN Architects, presented an informative update to the schematic design and types of material to be used in the seismic upgrade. However, the presentation of the energy policy implementation was not clear and there seemed to be a lack of understanding of the policy goals. Some of the life cycle cost analysis was not presented; some was not presented in a concise format, making it


The life cycle workshop has not been held. When the meeting has taken place and the information finalized, either this report will be updated or the information will be added to next year's report.


Implementation of the Energy Design Standards Policy began with the three projects referenced above. The staff has demonstrated their commitment to achieve the goals outlined in the Policy during the workshops. As with any new policy, refinement and an evaluation review can enhance the effectiveness of the program. To this end, the Committee would like to offer the following suggestions:

Recommendation: It is recommended that the staff should conduct a pre-meeting with the principals of the design team prior to the commencement of the design to review the Energy Policy and the expectations of the Workshop.

Recommendation: It is recommended that the staff should develop a summary matrix to be used by all design teams for recommended energy saving components.

Recommendation: It is recommended that the designers should submit a final report which shall be made available to the public.

Next Steps

In the next year the Sub-Committee will review the tracking mechanism employed by the District to ensure that the planned energy savings become realized savings. The Sub-Committee will also begin review of the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Policy.

Computer Control Systems


The BUSD has had a goal for the last three years to implement Computer Control Systems to track and generate reports for the management of ongoing construction and cost associated with all construction and maintenance activities. If we succeed in getting these tools in place, the information flow will be facilitated. This goal has been partially funded with Measure A funds. Two principal software packages have been adopted to these ends, and the principal construction planning firm, Vanir

Three schools have had their specific construction plans inputted into these packages - Thousand Oaks, Columbus and Cragmont. In addition, Vanir/Don Todd has built and is currently testing a cost reporting package which will link the Facilities Department under Lew Jones, Manager of Facilities Planning, to the Accounting Department under the direction of Associate Superintendent of Business Cathy James. At this time, neither package is being used by the District for ongoing planning and c

Recommendation: It is recommended that the Board approve including in the Facilities Planning staff at least one individual who has the experience and operational knowledge to support the software, and interface with construction providers and with the computer system analysts of the Accounting Department.

Software Packages

The two packages adopted by the District are Primavera Project Planner 5.0 and Microsoft Access.

Primavera Project Planner 5.0 is a DOS based application extensively used by the construction industry. It has a relatively simple user interface and training, upgrades and ongoing support are readily available.

Microsoft Access is a Windows based simple report generation package which has been scripted by Vanir/Don Todd under contract to the District to generate cost analysis reports through a direct computer link to the main accounting network. The specific reports are strongly supported by Vanir with a dedicated programmer. The District will obtain the source code (or source script) for all the custom work done by Vanir.


The Facilities Planning staff (the manager and two staffers) have been trained on Primavera (two years ago) but they have not used the program recently and clearly are uncomfortable with their own present level of readiness. Although staff seems to be open to benefits from the computer systems, there is the need for additional training and there is no in-house champion of the tools.

The Accounting Department has no interaction with Primavera or the Report package under Microsoft Access. No one is assigned to interact with the Facilities Planning Department for ongoing support of report generation.


The Facilities Planning and the Accounting Department both need to create better communication regarding the cost report generation. The Accounting Department has some staff who are competent and comfortable with computer tools and software. The Facilities Department needs at least one individual capable and focussed on supporting the Computer Planning and Tracking software tools in addition to his or her other responsibilities.

Budget Monitoring

The primary role of this Sub-Committee is to ensure that the costs of each school project are within the budget, that the progress of each project is within the current cost parameters and that any deviation is questioned by the entire Committee and addressed. For example, deviations could be the result of contractor cost overruns or Board changes in a project which could have ramifications on other projects. In order to do this, it is necessary for the Committee to receive timely reports

Another aspect of the Committee's function is its relationship with the various Site Committees and the general public. We are a “citizens' committee” and should be a vehicle for people to express their questions and concerns. Site Committees are involved in planning. This Committee should be a resource for Site Committees and the public once construction has begun. To that end, there should be more awareness of the function of this Committee. If a project gets off course, this Committee

The Committee has been immeasurably helped in its work by the active participation of Catherine E. James, Associate Superintendent of Business, Lew Jones, Manager of Facilities Planning, and Steve Wood, Director of Facilities. They have generously given explanation, technical knowledge and interpretation of the regular detailed reports to the Committee.

Public Information

Summary of 1995-1996 Press and Information Events







Description of Contents



A+ News, 3/96

“Berkeley Schools Construction Program: Here's What's Happening”

Brief, site-by-site summary of work done and anticipated.

Mailed to all BUSD student and employee households. Copies available for free in library and public buildings.


A+ News , 8/96


“A Facilities Report Card”


Brief review of the history of Measure A since 1992, with emphasis on priorities and process.


Same as above.


Berkeley Voice


Article by Mark Breindel


Aspects of the school construction program


Berkeley subscribers and residents via whimsical pattern of free distribution


Oakland Tribune


One article and follow up stories on ribbon-cutting.


Aspects of the school construction program


Throughout Berkeley and the East Bay


Pamphlet for BUSD Parent Access Office


“Building Better Schools”


School-by-school listing of work being done or to be done.


Distributed to some parents who come to parent access office to register their child, and several public events.


Facilities Report prepared by Lew Jones and staff


“BUSD Facilities Construction Plan, February 1996”


Details the District's construction program: work completed, work scheduled, budgets.


80 Copies distributed to District administrators, others involved in the construction program, and the public libraries.


Informational Video (10 minute) produced by Public Information Office




Explains the consequence of the bond measure by showing “Before” and “After” conditions of BUSD schools.


Originally produced for the City Council, was shown on Channel 25 on re-broadcast of board meeting. It awaits other showings.


School Board Meetings




The most timely and detailed information available, designed for policy-makers. “Public comment” gives citizens brief access to the Board's audience.


Meetings are open to the public. They are broadcast on radio and on cable TV. Written meeting agendas are distributed to the schools of the District.


Special Public Meetings dedicated to Construction Issues


Examples: King Track; Berkeley High Lights, Columbus Thousand Oaks and Longfellow.


Public comment informs upcoming Board decisions. Attendees get information from Staff by attending.


Attendance by the public at such meetings varies widely.


Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies


Opening of the renovated Washington School and the “G” building.


Building tours show off the newly -remodeled buildings.


Tours included thousands of members of the public, staff and journalists.


“Web Page” maintained by BUSD Business Services




Includes information about the construction program.


Too new to assess.







Description of Contents



Council of Neighborhood Associations (C.N.A.) News

Several articles and letters in several issues

Criticism of the size and financing of the bond; criticism of how BUSD is handling construction and public participation.

Mailed to all C.N.A News subscribers, a city-wide group.

Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association (BAHA)

Various articles and letters

Dissent regarding plans to demolish old Thousand Oaks

2000 BAHA members receive its newsletter. Others hear their views via letters to Berkeley Voice and to C.N.A. News.

Critique of Public Information Effectiveness

Bond financing and construction management have been the subject of critical articles in the “C.N.A. News” through much of the year. The C.N.A. News, though hardly an objective venue, provides some “consumer” feedback. It shows that the District is not getting the positive aspects of the building program out to many people who presumably pay the most attention to their tax bills and to public policy in the city.

An incident involving the King track illustrates a public information glitch. The District administration - the public information office in particular - was expected to inform the users of the King track of the District's plans to rehabilitate it. A meeting was advertised to the community but no one attended. As a result of this poor attendance, the District was criticized for “negligence” in making no attempt to inform the community. No Measure A Site Committee is active at King. Such a

The C.N.A. commentaries and incidents like the King track indicate that the District's public information machinery was not targeted as well as desired.

Proposals for Next Year and for Subsequent Years

Public information is among the duties of all members of the advisory committee. Information should flow between the Advisory Committee, school Site Committees, the Board and Administration.

To improve the state of information the following are worth considering:

Recommendation: It is recommended that a mailing be sent to all Berkeley taxpayers. The constituency to whom we may still owe a convincing explanation is the Berkeley taxpayer. The best way to reach owners is by a special mailing. A piece directed at Berkeley taxpayers can be more focused than one aimed at a larger audience.

Recommendation: It is recommended that where any significant Measure A work is occurring there should be a site committee, even if short lived. Though these committees become inactive when their agenda is fulfilled, some of their members remain at the site for several years thereafter. These individuals remain valuable contacts in case facilities issues arise. A database of phone numbers should be maintained.

Recommendation: It is recommended that an annual newsletter from our committee to active Measure A school Site Committees be sent which will incorporate our yearly report along with a cover letter. Its most important content would be the names and phone numbers of oversight committee members and the time and place of our regular advisory meetings.

Site Committee Knowledge Bank Site committee members begin their task with limited knowledge of the process. They benefit by having access to what was learned at other sites.

Recommendation: It is recommended that the subcommittee on Public Information accompany District staff in preparing a short document describing the experience of site committees who have completed their job intended for site committees who are not far along. Though this task could be performed solely by District staff the product would probably be more candid and intelligible to parents if its production included parents.


This Sub-Committee studied the topic of moving. This includes large moves necessitated by the construction process (moving out of a site scheduled for construction and moving back in when construction is completed) and the smaller moves done in the District around re-configuration.

The review of completed moves has identified certain issues. We have learned that a move that happens during the instructional year has different challenges than a move that happens during the summer recess.

Recommendation: It is recommended that the staff identify the needs of the classroom for the program that is going into the classroom space: furniture, plumbing (if needed), carpet/flooring, communications, shelving, etc. After these needs are identified, define what type of packing, moving and unpacking has to be accomplished. All elements of the move need to be identified. When items are left out, it creates a double-move problem. This needs to be done for offices and o

Recommendation: It is recommended that the staff schedule moves well in advance. Scheduled well in advance, proper lead time and planning will result in an efficient move within budget. Establish who will do the move: professional contract movers, in-house staff, or a combination of both.

Recommendation: It is recommended that the staff establish a timeline. Once the needs and the timeline are assembled for the proposed move, adequate resources need to be identified and allocated.

We stress the need for good communication during the entire process! This has to work on all levels with all participants. Parents, teachers, unions, Board Members, maintenance/custodial staff, vendors/contractors, architects, principals and administrators can all be participants in the process.

We recommend that the Board approve and adopt these guidelines so that future moves will be accomplished with the fewest complications.

1997 CCAC Report to the District

Construction cost inflation in Measure “A” Projects is the principal focus of our report this year. The importance of understanding the sources of cost increases and recommendations to ameliorate these increases for the subsequent construction go to the heart of the oversight responsibilities this committee has to the District and Taxpayers.

The committee has determined that the principal sources of past inflation are as follows:






Contractor costs (Bay Area Construction Inflation) projected by some professionals to continue over the next three years.






Projects have grown in scope in response to demands of the community and site committees.






Change orders resulting from inadequate as-built drawings and records

  These increase have been largely absorbed by increased income to the District.

  The committee has determined that the principal sources of future inflation are as follows:





$19 million

Contractor costs (Bay Area Construction Inflation) projected by some professionals to continue over the next three years.




$9 million


Projects have grown in scope in response to demands of the community and site committees.




$1.8 million


Change orders resulting from inadequate as-built drawings and records




($2.6 million)


We recommend constructability review be improved via policy changes, saving this amount in change orders. Note! Failure to adopt the changes will cause a net increased cost.


$27.2 million


As itemized above, the future cost inflation is estimated at $27.2 million. In its 1997 Facilities Plan, the District allowed for $7.8 miilion in inflation. There have been strong efforts by the District to increase the total funding base. However, of the additional revenues detailed in Appendix G ($36 million), most has either been allocated or is restricted to specific programs. There is a possible $5 million offset still available to mitigate inflationary impacts, leaving a potential shortfall of approximately $14.4 million. We acknowledge that the Board, District or State may act individually or together to change both the scope of the projects and the total available funds for projects. The efforts of this committee to estimate future needs are necessarily based on currently planned spending and resources without taking account of such possible changes.

This committee has made, at best, informed guesses in compiling the above estimate. The appendices list some of the rationales for these guesses so readers may judge for themselves. We hope that these predictions will invite the District and community to rally around the need to find additional funding sources to augment the bond proceeds, and /or moderate the project scope in order to complete the Measure “A” construction program.

We recommend that the problems of Construction Cost Inflation should be brought to the attention of the citizens, and should be highlighted in public information efforts.

The following subcommittee or staff reports and recommendations (appendices) have been reviewed, edited and adopted by a consensus vote of the committee.


A Factors Which Contribute to the Current Construction Inflation

B Constructability Reviews, Change Orders and Recommendations to Improve Processes

C As-builts

D Program Modifications which have affected Project Costs

E Participating Members

F Public Information Subcommittee Report and Recommendations

G Funding from Sources besides Measure A

Appendix A

Factors Which Contribute to the Current Construction Inflation

The current bidding market is very poor for owners. There are a number of factors causing this inflation at BUSD. Among the factors are:

1. There is a significant amount of construction work in California and the Bay Area in particular. One factor is the State's release of bond measure funds. This release tends to occur in cycles. The State has a tendency to perpetuate these cycles by placing large bond measures on the ballot and being unprepared for the outcome of these measures. The market would fluctuate less if the State was averaging out these releases with a steadier progression of funding. This market fluctuation pr

2. Local communities have either recently passed local bond measures or have developed their plans and are currently out to bid for projects. This impact is throughout the Bay Area, with local bonds from the north Bay through Silicon Valley.

3. The construction market went through a slow period in the early 1990's. This slow period tended to decrease the available pool of contractors. The current boom period will attract new contractors (and workers), but this will take some period of time.

4. The private sector is also experiencing increased work. Caltrans, the San Francisco Airport, the Oakland Coliseum, BART and Silicon Valley are all doing a lot of construction.

5. Smaller companies do not have the bonding capacity for the larger projects. The current market is worse in the $5 million to $15 million dollar range than in the $1-$3 million dollar range. However, the insurance companies (which issue the bonds) are cautious and have not loosened their requirements yet. Unfortunately, most of our projects are in the $5 million dollar range and up. It is possible to explore a trade contracting approach to mitigate some of this impact. Such an approach

6. There have been increases in some materials such as steel.

7. Construction inflation should have been anticipated by the estimators. The estimators tend to be slightly behind the market in its swings. We have had several recent projects where the inflation occurred after the last design estimate. This makes it hard to "trim" projects prior to the bid. We have been dissatisfied with some of the estimators' work.

8. The budgets for new schools do not easily lend themselves to value engineering at the end of the project. We are often left with deleting program space as the only conceivable option to bring a project within budget. This is not a practical option. On a remodeling project, we have the option of deferring some of the work. The remedies on a new school project are more constrained. We can anticipate this problem in the future.

9. Inflation needs to be anticipated early in the design process. A larger value for “alternates” can be expected when the Site Committees are most active.

Appendix B

  Constructability Reviews, Change Orders and Recommendations to Improve Processes

Constructability Reviews

The committee feels very strongly that the board should adopt the recommendation to procure and contract an independent constructability review contractor reporting to the district and NOT CONNECTED WITH THE CONTRACTOR OR ARCHITECT. The following helps make a case for this recommendation based on the districts recent experiences at Columbus.

The Constructability Review at Columbus: An Analysis

The Constructability Review” Defined. The Constructability Review is a tool of construction administrators. It is meant to perform two functions:

1. To find coordination problems in the drawings and/or specifications;

2. To suggest alternate, more cost effective ways of building a building.

Most constructability reviews focus on the first point and do little on the second. The constructability review is sent to the architect before the bid so that changes or clarifications can be made before the bid. A good constructability review may minimize disputes and change orders. This occurs for two reasons:

1. General Contractors often do little work themselves and all major areas are sub- contracted. This sub-contracting is usually done by assigning a whole section of plans and specifications to the sub-contractor. As an example, it is common that electrical contractors would be assigned all drawings which are marked "E" and the entirety of Division 16 in the specifications. If there is a requirement in the architectural drawings which conflicts with that detailed on the electric

2. In case of ambiguity or contradiction in the drawings or specifications, the law has ruled that all interpretations are ruled in favor of the contractor. If a drawing lists both a cheap and an expensive quality of work, the law favors the contractors interpretation that the lesser quality work is the basis of the bid.

BUSD requires constructability reviews from its consultant, Vanir/Don Todd Associates. BUSD performs constructability reviews on its large scale projects authored by BUSD personnel. The first project which had a formal constructability review authored by outside consultants was the Columbus School. The Columbus School constructability review was dated April 11, 1996; the date of the plans reviewed is not known, but it appears to be the first bid set. It appears that the intent of the cons

The Constructability Review of Columbus School. The constructability review for Columbus notes that "The documents submitted are somewhat deficient in their readiness for construction." (cover letter). There appear to be many more concerns about the drawings than the specifications, although there are concerns in both. Some spec sections note, "The Documents are generally good and should allow contractors to place responsible bids." Another section not

This report will investigate two problem areas on the project. One area considered will be the conflict between the gas line in the street and the storm drain line. A second area will the ceiling in the library. This report shall attempt to answer the questions:

1. Should this type of item be uncovered in a constructability review?

2. Was the item uncovered in the constructability review?

3. How clear was the constructability comment if there was one?

4. Did the architect modify his/her documents to attempt to correct the problem?

Since we are discussing known problems only, we know that the documents were not sufficiently clarified to protect the District from a change order.

The structure of the Columbus review is a checklist by discipline and then additional notes per discipline for both the drawings and the specifications. Both the discipline (Civil, Mechanical, architectural, structural) and the location in the document (Checklist or X.X.X listing) are noted below.


The plans called for a storm drain to be connected from the school site to the storm drain in Allston Way. The survey showed the location of a 12" gas line in Allston Way between the school and the drain line (in front of the connection). The depth of the gas line and existing storm drain was noted on the survey. The gas line is in the way of hooking up the new storm drain. The Civil drawings did not note this problem and the generic detail shown could not be built without modifying

The contractor discovered this conflict when the street was opened. He had to wait until an acceptable detail could be drawn which allowed sufficient drainage of the school site. Ultimately, a new detail was developed which allowed the school storm drain to hook up to the City storm drain by going below the gas line.

The following citations are the only references to this issue which we could find. The constructability review notes the following:

1. (Civil) The new underground utilities are not coordinated (checklist).

2. (Civil) The profile sheets are not coordinated with other underground utilities to avoid conflicts (checklist).

3. (Mechanical) The new utilities are not coordinated with civil drawings (checklist).

4. (Civil) C.1.0.3a. Statement "This drawing should be coordinated with other utility drawings such as E1.1.1 and P1.1.1. Also there is no reference to other civil drawings." (Page 2 of 24).

5. (Civil) C. Statement "There is no reference to the other civil drawings which show profiles and details.".

It appears that the constructability review did catch a coordination problem with the drawings. The gas line/storm drain conflict was not highlighted. However, without the dimensions on the drawing, it may be reasonable that the constructability review could not note the problem. It is unclear whether the problem would have been noted if it was clearly coordinated on the drawings.

In conclusion, it appears that:

1. The item is the type which should be uncovered in a constructability review.

2. The constructability review noted a problem with coordination.

3. The drawings were inadequately coordinated for the constructability review to highlight this particular problem, and the note was general rather than specific to the problem.

4. That the architect either ignored the constructability review or, if the documents were changed at all, did not perform a quality review of this item after modifying the documents.


The library ceiling is planned to be a lowered ceiling in the middle of the room. To achieve the desired architectural result, the drawings call for the structure to be made of wood. The drawings define the structural support for this wood structure to be guy wires as would be typical in a drop ceiling. The guy wires are too insubstantial to support a wood structure. During construction we modified the support system so that wood support was used rather than guy wires.

The only note on the constructability review which may be relevant is:

1. (Architectural) Room finishes match plan and elevation information (Checklist).

There is absolutely nothing in the constructability to mention this problem.

Normally, the permitting agency (DSA) would not allow the guy wires to be used in this type of application. If they had noted this detail they would have rejected it.

Constructability reviews often state that they are not displacing the responsibility of DSA for review. An excellent constructability reviewer with experience with DSA may have noticed this problem. A reviewer without DSA experience would not have caught this problem.

In conclusion, it appears that:

1. The item is the type which is difficult to uncover in a constructability review;

2. The item was not noticed in the review;

3. The constructability review noted no problem with the detail;

4. A moderately experienced designer would have known that this detail would not work; an expert constructability reviewer would have noted the problem; and DSA should have rejected the design solution.

In this example, one would hope that one of the three responsible entities would have caught the problem. We hope that the constructability review would uncover this sort of problem, however, it is difficult to say that a constructability review will always notice such a problem.

Change Order Review

  Change Orders on the BHS “G” and “H” Buildings: An Analysis

One area the Sub-Committee on Construction Cost Inflation wished to review was whether the District is adequately budgeting for construction contingencies. To analyze this question, we reviewed the change orders for the Berkeley High School G and H Building project in depth. This project was chosen because it is substantially complete and is the largest single project completed in the current construction program. In the future it may be prudent to do a similar analysis on a new project.

This interim report analyzes this question and tries to generalize some of our findings so that the Citizens Construction Advisory Committee can make recommendations to the Board for future projects.


All change orders for the project were reviewed. After review, it was decided to define different types of change orders and to put them in a spreadsheet. These categories are explained below.

In order to avoid conflicts, we chose to match the spreadsheet with the “Modernize G/H Building” data included in our Yearly Facilities Plan. This decision exempting several change orders from the spreadsheet and added one expense not covered by change order:

1. Work on the lights and sound project was a change order to the contractor but is budgeted separately in the Facilities Plan and was exempted from the spreadsheet;

2. Some of the Good Food Cafe work was performed as a change order to the contractor but is budgeted in the State School Building furniture and equipment budget and was exempted from the spreadsheet.

3. The District and the contractor mediated a construction claim which was primarily based upon hazardous material abatement in Building G. This expense is not a change order but is included in the spreadsheet.

The change orders were differentiated into nine categories. The following is a capsule description of these categories:

1. Owner . Owner initiated change orders are items which the owner requested during the construction period. An example of this category is the cable TV studio addition to the project.

2. No As-Builts . This category includes items that would have been caught during the design phase if the District had accurate as-built drawings. An example of this is that the District plans showed a different grade elevation than was constructed.

3. Permit . This category includes modifications required to accommodate permitting agencies. An example of this is that the local fire marshal required a number of changes to the approved fire alarm as a condition of acceptance.

4. Hidden Conditions . This category includes items uncovered during construction that could not have been foreseen or would not normally be listed on as-built plans. An example of this is asbestos material which was located above a glued-on acoustic ceiling.

5. Design Coordination . This category includes conflicts between the engineering and architectural drawings and/or specifications or items which could have been known by the design team (given existing information). An example of this is that the new electrical service could not be placed through the new foundations because it would compromise the strength of these new foundations; the electrical requirements and the structural drawings were not well coordinated in this instance

6. Quality Upgrade . This category includes items which the architect believed would improve the quality of the school. An example of this was to increase the tile in the elevator lobby.

7. Vandalism . This category includes items which were vandalized by students/others and the District chose to have the problem fixed by the contractor on the site. An example of this category is that there were some handrails removed from the site and we authorized the contractor to replace these handrails to protect our students and staff.

8. Risk . This category includes items where the District chose to settle an actual or potential contractor claim rather than fight a claim or lawsuit. Such claims would include extended overhead, job site overhead, lost opportunity, inflation, etc. In addition, the District would have attorney costs. An example of this is that the District chose to pay the contractor for some job site costs (foreman and the trailer) rather than risk losing a claim for substantially more money fo

9. Other . This category includes all change orders which do not cleanly fit into the other categories.


Our analysis shows that the change orders break out as follows:

Owner Initiated: 2.97% of the contract value.

No As-Builts: 2.02% of the contract value.

Permit Changes: 0.28% of the contract value.

Hidden Conditions: 1.03% of the contract value.

Design Coordination: 1.50% of the contract value.

Quality Upgrades: 0.27% of the contract value.

Vandalism: 0.06% of the contract value.

Risk Factors: 0.41% of the contract value.

Other: 0.07% of the contract value.

Total Factors: 8.62% of the contract value.

The District traditionally budgets a 10% construction contingency. The project is within this allowance. The project required “gutting” the building, which tends to decrease the number of change orders. The project is also very large for the District program. The amount of flexibility available to handle change orders is greater than on a small remodeling project.

Generally speaking, a 10% construction contingency is exclusive of owner initiated changes. The Construction Advisory Committee should consider whether to advise the Board to add an additional contingency to handle owner initiated change orders.

The G and H Building project was designed on a “fast track”. Accelerating the design phase probably increased the number of design coordination change orders. The Construction Advisory Committee should consider whether to recommend that the Board increase the contingency for a “fast track” project.

The District and the contractor appear to have had a relatively cooperative relationship. It appears that the “risk” change orders are less than would have been anticipated with a different contractor and less than may be expected on other projects.

Appendix C


Cost Inflation Due to the Lack of Accurate As-builts

As-builts are the details of the actual construction, which may depart substantially from the recorded or construction plans for any particular building or project. Well documented As-builts minimize the uncertainty when bidding the unknown. As-builts are also used daily by the maintenance department. The committee recommends that a preliminary study of the creation of a district wide unified As-built standard and storage be made and an implementation plan be instituted.

Some major construction jobs on which As-builts could have been useful are:

Washington School . Knowledge of the existing foundation left from the old school could have saved the delay's that were caused by the unknown.

Jefferson School Windows. Good as-builts could have shown that the walls needed waterproofing not just new windows to solve the leaking problem. Now it's too late.

Generally As-builts Plans should have identified:

· The location of sewer lines.

· Sprinkler lines.

· Pressure reducing values and back-flow preventors (which aren't required to be inspected on installation).

· Radiant heating lines.

· Location of shut-off valves for buildings, rooms and floors would benefit everybody from maintenance to the person responding to an emergency on the weekend.

As-builts for temporary structures like portables would save time for maintenance and should an emergency come up, the shut-off valves could be easily located.

The maintenance department would benefit on a daily basis by knowing the actual locations of shut-off valves, water lines, electrical lines, sewer lines for bathrooms, access doors and panels, the route of power to flood lights on the roof, the location of sprinkler lines to repair or to protect from trucks driving over. The locations of back-flow preventors would allow them to be added to our list and tested once a year as required by EBMUD.

Our record-keeping in the past may have been good but the lack of a central location to store this knowledge has practically made it worthless.

Appendix D

Program Modifications which have affected Project Costs

Many program modifications have occurred since the bond passed. Some of these derived from misunderstandings about how the bond was calculated. Some were consequences of flawed initial assumptions. Some have been external changes. This working document begins to list these issues. Items in this list are not ranked by importance.

1. The number of new elementary schools planned or constructed is greater than initially planned. The initial cost estimates for new buildings was too low. This has had and will have a significant effect on the program.

2. Some of our schools have experienced significant turnover of staff. Site Committees' prior decisions have not always been accepted by a new Principal. It is often too late to create realistic tradeoffs and we are placed in a position where we must add budget rather than cut scope.

3. The District planned for a 5% increase in enrollment. The District now projects a 15-20% increase.

4. The bond was planned to address structural and accessibility deficiencies, some deferred maintenance and hazardous material removal and modest grounds improvement. Some sites were slated for deferred maintenance only. Site Committees have focussed on programmatic items including access to technology, additional electrical wiring, remodeling of spaces, improved esthetics and other similar issues.

5. The District approved an Indoor Air Quality Policy. This places upward pressure on the construction and design costs.

6. Class size reduction has significantly increased the need for elementary school classrooms (approximately a 20% increase in the elementary schools).

7. Reconfiguration has significantly increased the cost at several sites, particularly at the Longfellow School where BUSD chose to convert an elementary school into a middle school.

8. The citizens of Berkeley demand extensive community process. This community process is not inexpensive.

9. The architects and their estimators have a tendency to undervalue the components of a project in the early stages. When they use more appropriate standards (e.g., higher quality materials and equipment), it is often too late to create realistic tradeoffs and we are placed in a position where we must add budget rather than cut scope.

10. The citizens, parents and staff at Berkeley are proud of the individuality at their schools. This makes it difficult to discuss standardization of the educational program. This individuality increases the costs during the design phase and usually increases the cost of the construction.

11. We initially assumed a greater amount of shared space than is now planned. Working out the logistics of sharing extended day care and classrooms or sharing itinerant offices has been challenging. Current plans include sharing space, but not to the extent originally assumed.

Appendix E

 Committee Members and Participants

Only those members with an asterisk after their name are permitted to vote on matters of recommendations and reports to the Board and Superintendent. They are therefore wholly rersponsible for the recommendations and information adopted herein. All those listed here were active attendees and participants in the duties of the committee. Special thanks goes to district employees Lew Jones, Steve Wood, Mike Eastman, Karen Sarlo and Cathy James who worked so hard to research and help document

Bruce Wicinas*
Terry Bloomsburgh*
Al Ringgold*
Doug Abadie*
Mike Eastman
Vic Kley*
Lew Jones
Steve Wood
Cathy James
Karen Sarlo

Appendix G

Construction Funding from Sources other then Measure A





Deferred Maintenance


Other Revenue







“Other sources”


Columbus project

$ 922,000

Technology project

$ 6,000,000

Technology grants

$ 42,000



$ 6,964,000



Combined Total





The District has a number of outside funding sources. Some of these are planned for capital expenditures; some are related program expenditures. The District has been very aggressive in pursuing outside funding sources and the community has been very supportive of the schools. The following represents the promised resources; not all of these resources have been received.

Other efforts are still in progress, including applications to the State and mandated cost reimbursements. These include work at Cragmont, some Healthy Start monies, the Edible School Yard at King, net days and other programs. The schools have shown a great deal of initiative in this area.

We have not listed the interest monies as they are a part of the bond. Interest monies devoted to construction are approximately $1,624,000; total projected interest earnings are approximately $7.1 million.

Appendix F

Public Information Subcommittee Report and Recommendations

The results of this committees review and recommendations for Cost Inflation and the ongoing agenda of this committee and the District is best served by a dynamic connection to the Berkeley Community. To this end the committee has included the following discussion and suggestions.

“Policy to Improve Information on Upcoming Construction Projects”

On April 25, 1997, Jack McLaughlin asked the Board and the Citizens Construction Advisory Committee to review a “Policy to Improve Public Information on Upcoming Construction Projects”.

Summary and Discussion

Superintendent McLaughlin specifies actions by which public information will be broadcast through the course of construction projects. Though it outlines tasks, it does not specify who does them or what budget pays for them. Since there is no District administrator responsible for addressing public information aspects of construction, this policy is in danger of non-implementation. The following is an attempt by the CCAC to map the policy's specific information tasks to existing administr

Getting more mileage from The Yearly Facilities Plan

The Facilities Plan update is a compendium of planning information about the construction program, updated yearly by Lew Jones and the Facilities Department. Few copies are printed. Very few persons know of its existence. The opportunity for improvement is not in printing more copies but in making its existence more widely known. The Policy to Improve Information calls for an announcement of the plan at the Board of Education meeting, in the A+ News , on Channel 25 and

Administrative Responsibility for a Construction Project's Public Information Time Line

Much of the actions included in the Policy to Improve Information presume a public information time line for each project. “Timeliness” is a vital feature of effective information. The main challenge of implementing the policy is assuring that an administrator is minding this information timeline.

Proposed Public Forum:

Mid-Point Review of the Bond-Financed Construction Program

The CCAC proposes that a public forum be held to give citizens a chance to review and discuss the progress of the District's construction program. The following is a proposed format, location, and time.

Date: Late January 1998 or early February 1998
Time: 9:00 to 10:30 AM
Day: Saturday
Place: Columbus School
Audience: Parents, taxpayers, realtors, other business community members,LWV

9:00am - Gather in Multi-purpose Room/Gym; free Coffee and Pastry!
Offer Tour of New School
9:30am - Meet back at Multi-purpose/Gym
General Remarks/Update on Program
Have tables or booths around gym with people who can answer questions and take complaints/comments about all aspects of the Measure A Bond and work done. Examples:
Bond information
Budget/cost overruns
Time schedule & process per project
Site committee information
Quality of work
Content of work
Neighborhood issues


Facility Brochure
Financial Fact Sheet
Project Fact Sheet (# of completed projects by category)

Bus Tour of Other School Sites(Optional)

To see other buildings/schools which have been completed.
Once an architectural firm is contracted for a project, responsibility for the time line should be assumed by it. This presumes that we are making the initiation of this public information policy the responsibility of the architect.

Means for Informing the Public During Design and and Construction

The proposed policy contains an extensive list of means of providing for public comment and maintaining public awareness. These means include public meetings, newspaper notices, notices on the Web Page, flyers to school staff and to children, postings around the site, mailings to city council members, chairpersons of neighborhood organizations and PTA officers. The policy also specifies mailings to residents within 300 feet. We propose omitting these mailings in favor of postings on telephone poles within 300 feet which is in accordance with City of Berkeley practices and which is much more easily accomplished with the District’s resources.
Initiating these all these actions must be the Timeline Administrator — presumably the architect. The newpaper notices and A+ News postings can be implemented by the District's public information administrator without substantial increase of her responsibilities. The mailings to leaders, phone pole postings, flyer distribution and Web Page update must be performed by another person to be identified — possibly someone on the District's facilities staff.

An Inexpensive, Informal Route for Public Questions and Feedback: A Phone Number

The mere publishing of project information is not a sincere effort to engage the public unless there is a means for people to express themselves and/or to ask questions. Public meetings alone do not suffice since most people are unlikely to come to them unless they are already alarmed. It is desirable to avoid public alarm, and this can often be accomplished simply by citizens talking to citizens. We suggest making available, as soon as a site committee has been convened, a phone line wit answering machine attached. This phone number should be publicized along with all announcements, postings and mailings regarding the project. The answering machine would be monitored by members of the school site committee after one has been convened. The site committee should attempt to return calls within a prescribed time, such as three days.
Besides a means of answering residents' questions, this should provide notice to the District about gathering storms of objection which may not otherwise have been anticipated.
This should be able to be accomplished at practically no cost. The phone line should be one already part of the system at the District office at 2134 M L King Way. A single, under-used line could be allocated to this use. One line could be shared by all projects via voice-mail directions to “Press 1 for Malcolm X”, etc.

An Expedient Communication Means Throughout: The Project Web Page

A Web page devoted specifically to the project, tied to the BUSD web page, would serve as an excellent means to post timely and/or detailed information about the project. Many people with the appetite for such information are apt to be qualified to seek it this way. This project is getting off the ground slowly, however, because it is in no one's job description.

Public Meetings

The Superintendent's policy proposes a minimum of one or two public meetings and proposes various means of publicizing them. We propose no change except we propose pole-posting instead of mailing to residents within 300 feet. The above considerations about who is responsible for what again apply.
Expert facilitation of the public meetings. Public meetings can turn into public forums for airing issues not inherent in the project. We all have such experience. The facilitator of the meeting must be sufficiently expert and accustomed to Berkeley public process to keep discussion to the agenda. The architect and/or construction consultant may not always be adequate for this role. The site committee and project manager must make the call on this. The project phone line may have provided clues about what sort of issues are likely to be raised by the public.