Four members of the Horry County Schools Board of Education were present at a special meeting of the Horry County Republican Party last week to provide information on the recent awarding of five contracts to First Floor Energy Positive for new, energy positive schools.
This is an issue that still resonates in local media because First Floor Energy Positive had the highest total cost for their proposals for the five schools.
What seems to be missing from the local conversation is that the process used to select First Floor Energy Positive focused on building energy positive schools. This means energy savings in future years must be factored into the equation.
Will there be significant energy savings? There have been from schools built by First Floor in North Carolina.
Several days after the meeting, I heard an interview with HCGOP member who, several times, referred to the contracts going to the “highest bid.”
First of all, these were not bids, they were proposals.
Later in the interview, it was correctly stated that the school board basically got three conceptual proposals that were presented by the three finalist contractors. He correctly stated that the three contractors were not bidding on a design submitted by the school district.
These are key points that have been missed often in the ongoing discussion about these contract awards.
These were not design-bid-build contracts where the school district develops a design that is then bid on with the contract generally going to the lowest bidder.
These were design-build proposals that were developed by the individual contractors within overall specifications and requirements of the school district.
Several members of the selection committee for HCS said First Floor Energy Positive was the only one of the three finalist contractors to meet all of the requirements in their designs.