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District contracts ‘sole source’ for Malibu field lights

Chris Bashaw, Assistant Editor
3:32 pm PDT August 25, 2014

RDM Electric Company, Inc. will be the sole company installing and removing the athletic field lights for the next five years at Malibu High School following a Wednesday, Aug. 13, approval by the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education.
Before the Board members at their meeting was a proposal to authorize contract work with RDM for “annual maintenance of the lights,” due to coastal development permit requirements.
The recommendation stated the annual contract “will not exceed $45,000” and the “time and material service” will be re-negotiated each years.
RDM was awarded the initial contract on Sept. 6, 2012, when a $15,000 allowance was allocated to RDM for a contract of $176,000. Of the allowance, $10,153.06 was used on the 2012 project, leaving nearly a third of the original amount.
The Board approved on June 5 a change order to the original contract to factor in the remaining amount and reduce the contract total to $171,153.06. At the same meeting, the Board members also accepted as completed the work done on the lights in 2012.
With issues surrounding the PCB contamination at Malibu High School taking center stage, contingency over the athletic field lights – which culminated in a 2012 lawsuit – has largely stepped away from the spotlight in the past year.
At the Aug. 13 board meeting, Malibu resident Steve Uhring used public comment time to address what he indicated was an incongruity with the District’s use of funds.
“It would seem short-sighted to be spending money on lights unless you’re absolutely certain the [PCB] problem has been solved, in case more money has to be spent over there to make sure that toxins are cleaned up,” Uhrin said.  “If the students and teachers at the schools are getting sick because of the PCBs, I don’t think the lights are going to help them very much.”