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Working toward completion: Weekly project meetings begin, contractor confirms June dates

Jonesborough’s first in an upcoming series of weekly Senior Center construction progress meetings went off without a hitch last week, despite earlier resistance by the contractor to set a weekly schedule.
At the April 23 meeting, a date of June 2 was set by Scott Rainey of Rainey Contracting for final paint and touch ups, with the center scheduled to be complete by the first week of June, barring weather or other delays.
“I thought the meeting went very well,” said Town Administrator Bob Browning, who was joined at the meeting by Rainey, Eddie Phillips and C.W. Parker, with Ken Ross Architects, and Craig Ford, J.W. Greene and Abbey Miller, all with the Town of Jonesborough.
“I felt like we discussed the things we needed to discuss.”
The weekly meetings were initially proposed as a way to facilitate a speedier completion for a project that had already become mired in financial overruns, weather delays, and charges of poor contractor oversight on one side and costly town delays on the other.
“It was obvious why we had to have these meetings,” Browning said. “We’re trying to move things along and we’re one of the contractors, more or less, that is on the job that has to interface with everyone else to get this done. We can’t do this in a vacuum.”
According to Phillips, who helped oversee the meeting, the main purpose on April 23 was to go over the current schedule of projects to ensure everyone was on the same page and jobs were being coordinated correctly.
“At this point, we’re trying to use all the resources from all of us to get the project done,” Phillips said. “Let’s have an open discussion here and try to fill in the blanks.”
Blanks filled included solidifying plans and schedules for lighting, including one at the proposed flag pole for the center, and finalizing details for the center’s kitchen.
According to Town Operations Manager Craig Ford, the town was installing site utilities that week, including water, sewer and storm, and will provide trenching for the fire line to offset costs. He also requested additional information about brick pavers at the entrance to ensure danger of slippage is kept to a minimum.
Rainey reported that the metal roof panels were complete and that drywall installation had begun on April 21. “We’ll finish the drywall on the main level at the end of this month,” Rainey said.
Projects in May include siding, trim and column wraps; balconies, gutters and down spouts; installing flooring and ceiling tile and hanging interior doors. Rainey remained confident of its completion dates.
During the meeting, Phillips pointed out that an on site rough-in inspection found several pipes installed lower than the 9-foot ceilings and would need to be raised.
But overall, he expressed satisfaction over both the meeting and the center’s progress.
“It’s looking like a totally different project,” Phillips said of a recent visit. “Even the outside looks like a different project.”
Browning is confident the weekly meetings will help continue the trend.
“If we meet on a regular basis, the meeting won’t be as long,” Browning said. “We’ll be much more tuned in, and it will make it a lot easier for interaction throughout the week.
“We’re trying to be proactive on our side to get the job done,” he said.
The next Senior Center construction progress meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 30, at 9 a.m. at Town Hall. The public is invited to attend