© 2023 The Journalist. Proudly created with Wix.com

  • Megann Horstead

Construction manager’s extended pay approved by Park Board


After being tabled twice, the construction manager on The Oaks Recreation & Fitness Center is to be paid.

The Mokena Community Park District Board of Commissioners approved a construction change request Tuesday, June 13, to pay for extended time and materials spent on the expansion and Yunker Farm improvements.

In a 6-0 vote, the measure to pay construction manager Henry Bros. Co. the $59,925.24 the company requested passed with the board’s approval. Vice President John Olivieri abstained.

Officials previously tabled the measure at a May 9 special meeting, at which point the board approved the hiring of a new lawyer and wanted additional time to consider taking action, and at the May 23 regular meeting.

“I understand there was new board members that came,” said Joe Bartkus, of Henry Bros. Co. “We were presenting the extra to try and keep the project moving. You guys needed some time to look it over, and I understand that, but that kind of slowed that process down.”

Board Secretary Dennis Bagdon refuted that.

“Well, it didn’t slow it down, Joe,” he said. “Because [the electrical engineer and the electrical contractor] were arguing there in that time. You even said that [Henry Bros.] couldn’t get them in the room together at the same time. So, at that time, they were arguing about it. While you guys were arguing about it, it gave our guys a little extra time to go through their packet and understand what was going on.”

Bagdon was referring to an electrical contract change order for the new gym’s system to lower and raise basketball hoops and partitions. He also raised concerns over placing undue burden on the taxpayers.

“I was a little taken back by senior vice president’s statement that he uses the terms in his letter to us that it’s beyond their control, and he blames the park district for not making a quick decision on the electrical change orders — which I’m really not sure how that works, considering Joe and Scott Piper came up the last two meetings telling us how the electrical contractor and the electrical engineer couldn’t be in the same room together,” he said.

The process Henry Bros. follows for a mechanical situations typically requires the construction company, the architect and engineer to review the matter.

“That engineer is hired by the park district, not by Henry Bros., not by SPM Architects,” Bartkus said. “We were trying to work with your engineer to get him to review the proper change request for that order. He still has yet to have done that. We’ve had verbal conversations with him.”

The electrician, Bartkus said, has provided all the details necessary with regard to that change.

“He’s done everything he could,” Bartkus said. “We just haven’t gotten a response from the engineer to say, ‘Yes, I agree with this’ or ‘No, I don’t, and here’s the reasons why.’ The only reason we were moving forward was the verbal meeting that [Bagdon and Commissioner Kevin Brogan] attended, and we seemed to agree with it, but we never got anything right.”

Brogan said by “the end of that meeting, everything was decided, and [the engineer] was given … a verbal go-ahead to ratify it at a later date.”

Bartkus agreed, saying although the board approved the electrical change order in an amount not to exceed $46,000, a delay occured.

Henry Bros. Senior Vice President Stan Jagielski said it is Henry Bros.’ job to coordinate the project.

“We’ve done our job,” he said.

The project was intended to reach completion in April.

Board Treasurer Bob Lindbloom said it made sense to approve the change request.

“Regardless of whatever happened, they’ve done the work,” he said. “We need to pay the bills. Moving forward, we go from there.”

#Mokena

1 view