Judy Judy Judy

I’ve just been reviewing that silly column Judy Seliga-Punyko had published in the Trib. She begins:

“I attended the open house this week at Old Central High School, at which local contractors met with architects to receive information to help them prepare bids for more than $270 million of projects under the district’s long-range facilities plan (“Contractors eager for school projects,” Jan. 22).”

Judy has a faulty memory. The document passed out to contractors that night listed the “project budget” not as $270 million but $296,034,405.00. Judy was $26 million off. Why is this discrepancy significant? Because with Judy’s published figures the Red Plan is well under budget. The real figures show the Red Plan is now at least $13 million bigger than we, or the Minnesota Dept. of Education, were told it would be.

The Red Plan that the District sought permission to build from the Minnesota Department of Education was $293 million. They didn’t give the District permission for $60 million of it but only about $233 million. That apparently isn’t stopping the District from letting bids for the entire amount and then some.

How much more?

I her article Judy says that we’ve already spent $10 million on Stowe and Lakewood schools. Add that to $296 million and you get $306 million a $13 million increase over the promised $293 million. Plus, its not clear if those charges include the revenue that JCI will be paid.

Its been suggested that JCI’s take could be close to 20% of the cost of the Red Plan. If they will be paid 20% of the $306 million that’s one thing. If its 20% (or more) on top of that $306 million that’s quite another.

Maybe we should ask the ailing Chrysler what they think of JCI’s business practices for a clue as the the answer to this question.

Let’s hope no one asks Judy to do the math.