• December 28, 2014

Belton school district auditing High Point construction

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Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 11:00 pm

BELTON — The Belton Independent School District is auditing Baird/Williams Construction of Temple for work performed at High Point Elementary.

Baird/Williams is also the contractor on Belton ISD’s North Belton Middle School and Chisholm Trail Elementary, which are both expected to open in August.

Belton ISD Superintendent Susan Kincannon said she did not anticipate any delays in the completion of those schools as a result of the audit into construction at High Point.

“We got information in December alleging overbilling and possible double-billing of another school district (Comal ISD) in December.”

An article published Dec. 11 in the San Antonio Express-News stated that an audit conducted on behalf of Comal ISD found the district overpaid contractors $7 million.

“Upon learning that, I initiated an investigation and contacted our external auditor (Patillo, Brown & Hill) to request an audit of the work done at High Point. Although the construction has been completed, the books haven’t been closed out,” Kincannon said.

Kincannon notified Blair Williams, president of Baird/Williams, of the district’s intent to conduct the external audit in December, she said.

In February, the Express-News published a story saying that Comal ISD had settled with Baird/Williams Construction for $5.9 million.

The audit began in early February “and at the same time, Baird/Williams lost the ability to obtain bonding, and Manor ISD terminated a (construction manager at risk) contract with Baird/Williams,” Kincannon said. The audit into High Point construction is ongoing, and cannot be completed until Baird/Williams provides additional documents requested by Belton ISD, Kincannon said.

“The audit is not complete, but the auditor does have questions,” and the district is waiting for the requested documents until proceeding to the next step, Kincannon said.

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