Short plexiglass barriers that stop at the neck. Hand sanitizer dispensers flimsily taped to the wall instead of nailed. Liquid oozing on to the ground.
This is the scene City College of San Francisco staff said they walked into after contractors worked on the campus to prepare it for its reopening. The contractor, One Workplace, originally stood to receive $463,000 for the job of preparing offices, classrooms, and work spaces with coronavirus protocols and room for physical distancing.
But some installation done so far has yielded poor results, according to staff reports relayed to their union.
“It was kind of off the charts,” said Athena Steff, SEIU Local 1021 president, at a CCSF Board of Trustees committee hearing on Thursday. “This is not ok and will not be ok. The whole concern here of shoddy workmanship is in question.”
One Workplace was initially allowed to conduct work in June for up to $60,000 as part of the larger contract for $463,000. The funds would come from the $7 million grant to CCSF from the federal stimulus received in April.
At the regular Board of Trustees meeting on Aug. 27, trustees balked at approving a large contract to a company that allegedly botched recent work for City College.
“If there’s any work right now that should not be done shoddily right now, it’s keeping our students and faculty safe during a pandemic,” said Trustee Tom Temprano at the meeting.
Instead, trustees unanimously voted to lower it to $125,000 to prevent a disruptive delay while giving time to examine the full contract by sending it to the facilities committee.
One Workplace stood by its work and said they were judged when the project was incomplete.
“I think this is a lack of communication,” said Michael Bell, account executive and education specialist at One Workplace. “We were pulled off with two days left for installation. We’re more than willing to complete our work.”
But Bell also acknowledged that some of their work needed fixing.
“That, unfortunately, happened with some of the first sanitizers we installed,” said Bell of dispensers that fell off the wall. “Within hours we addressed the issue and we used wall anchors and set screws. I think the ones that fell off the wall…were the ones that weren’t finished yet.”
Steff questioned why CCSF would return to the contractor to finish the job but Bell said One Workplace would assess the next round of classrooms, about 19 of more than 100 areas, at no charge to CCSF.
Deputy Chancellor of Human Resources Dianna Gonzales said the college would proceed by having One Workplace fix identified issues, finish the remaining assessments of campus facilities, and have staff from City College and Department of Public Works install what’s needed. She added they are determining what the approved $125,000 covers and reevaluate how CCSF would be involved moving forward.
“The assessment was satisfactory but the installation was less than satisfactory,” Gonzales said. “There shouldn’t be any additional charges for [One Workplace] to come in and correct the issues that need correcting. We’re not going to approve any more plans until we clean up our own process.”
The revised contract will come back to the full Board of Trustees.