MCC Construction Budget Has Contingency Fee Twice as High as Forensic Auditor Recommended

When forensic auditing firm Jefferson Wells auditor Mike Nowark made his report on his examination of new school construction at Huntley School District 158, he said that if contingencies were not over 5%, he didn’t think anything went wrong.

Thursday night, the McHenry County College Board will consider a recommendation for spending over $34 million for

  1. right-sizing science classrooms and lab space
  2. reconfiguring health sciences learning space
  3. creating student engagement space

$30 million of those costs are outlined below:

The construction proposal has a 10% contingency fee in a time of extremely low inflation.

The construction proposal has a 10% contingency fee in a time of extremely low inflation.

It bothers me that, in a time of extremely low inflation, college officials would push for a contingency fee twice as high as the Huntley School District’s forensic auditor recommended.

We don’t want to have to hire a forensic auditor to see if those hired to perform the construction have cheated the taxpayers.


MCC Construction Budget Has Contingency Fee Twice as High as Forensic Auditor Recommended — 7 Comments

  1. Communities can place contingent conditions on developers, for example in Chicago some percentage of building project cost had to be spent on outdoor public art.

    I suggest that all spending on public projects in McHenry County contribute to a “Forensic Investigation Fund”.

    This fund will pay for a report that memorializes any and all connections between those empowered to authorize the expenditure, and recipients of that public funding.

    These reports will be cached so in the event of “I’ll gladly pay you public money today for a lucrative job next Tuesday” there is a paper trail documenting history of relationships.

  2. The public deserves a report with a detailed break down of the proposed $30 million including a spreadsheet of proposed costs.

    Then the public deserves a period of time to review the detailed proposal, and to comment on the detailed proposal.

    The figures exist somewhere.

    Someone, and probably several people, were involved in and spent a lot of time coming up with the $30 million figure.

    Show us the figures.

    It’s the board’s responsibility to require the administration to provide such a break down.

    The board should vote no until such a report is made public.

    There is not enough detail provided to the public about proposed public sector construction projects.

    It’s way to easy to approve these projects with just the most basic cost figures provided.

  3. There is a half-empty quite new high school in Woodstock very close to the MCC campus.

    (MCC students must drive to get to MCC anyway; there is no on-campus housing).

    MCC holds many classes at night/after-normal-high school hours.

    Why not RENT space at the new Woodstock North HS biology/chemistry lab classrooms?

    Win-win-win for drowning Woodstock D200 taxpayers, struggling McHenry County taxpayers, and MCC students will get what they need.

  4. The “space utilization” report is no more than a wish list by department heads without regard to demand. It does not provide adequate information to make an informed decision about the scope of the proposed project.

    I encourage ALL the trustees to make no decision unless certain questions are answered.

    First, how many labs exist now?

    Second, how much space do the existing labs take?

    Third, what is their average daily utilization?

    Fourth, how many labs are being built in the new project?

    Fifth, how many square feet are being built?

    It’s not uncommon for a “need” to be cited and then for the “solution” to be much grander than actually needed.

  5. 1. What are the current new standards for science lab rooms (i.e., gas jets/water access at lab stations?)

    2. How much of current science curriculum is virtual rather than hands on (internet based video as opposed to physical cat dissections)?

    3. How much of science lab room is NON-fixed appurtenance? (That is, equipment that could be moved to other rooms, like large refrigeration units, centrifuges)?

  6. 4. Are any proposed expenditures manufacturer-specific?

    (That is, are purchases of a specific type of 3-D printer and class curriculum designed around its usage geared toward a a free training program for a specific company, or is the knowledge to be gained from the course generally applicable?)

  7. Wilson are you not supporting Tirio in recorder race and did Karen tirio vote

    Yes for

    This as

    An MCC Trustee there you have it the politician promises to save tax payer money but once they get in it is all about them.

    Joe tirio is no different

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