York County will have to pay the Fort Mill School District $114,900 after the county missed a May 1 deadline to complete a section of the Fort Mill Bypass.
In October 2012, the district and county signed a contract that contained requirements for road construction and improvements near an elementary school planned for Doby’s Bridge Road. The contract also stipulated the school district would give the county land for additional road construction.
As part of this contract, the county was required to complete construction of a section of the Southern Fort Mill Bypass by May 1 or pay the school district for the land given to the county, valued at $114,900.
Completion of that section of the bypass is crucial for the Fort Mill School District because without it, the school – Doby’s Bridge Elementary – will not be able to receive a certificate of occupancy, said district spokesperson Kelly McKinney. The school is planned to open in August, although school staff will require several weeks to move in furniture and get the the school ready for students.
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“From a district standpoint, (not opening Doby’s Bridge) is not an option for us,” McKinney said. “That road needs to be finished.”
The contractor, Eagle Construction, will be required to pay the $114,900 to the county, said York County Councilman Michael Johnson, whose district includes Fort Mill.
“Ultimately, this is a contractor who missed a deadline,” Johnson said.
On Friday morning, Johnson said, the county was “assured” the road would be completed by May 30, four weeks past the initial deadline. School district operations should not be interrupted, he said.
Weather and material delays are to blame for the missed deadline, said county manager Bill Shanahan.
“This contract definitely states if it’s not done on (May 1), that the county would pay it,” Shanahan said.
The county will also conduct an internal investigation to try to make sure these types of delays don’t happen again.
“If there’s something we can do better next time, we’re going to do it,” he said.
The money paid to the school district will be earmarked for its capital fund, McKinney said.