September 5, 2004
The Gilbert Unified School District no longer wants Gilbert to examine building plans or conduct field inspections for its new facilities, a move opposed by town officials.
The Town Council on Tuesday is scheduled to discuss whether to exempt the school district from required reviews and inspections, which are done by the town at no charge to the district.
Last month, the district board approved a plan to waive town inspections, a resolution the town called "faulty."
The wording is similar to an agreement the district entered into last year with Mesa.
District officials said they aren’t trying to circumvent the town’s authority, but instead hope to streamline and
simplify building schools by making the process consistent.
"We are on tight schedules and we have third-party architects and engineers who review construction as well as the state fire marshal," spokeswoman Dianne Bowers said, adding, "I can assure you that with every school we build we want the utmost quality, and safety is the No. 1 priority."
Town Manager George Pettit said the town has a responsibility to assure building plans and construction meet Gilbert’s codes.
He said the town’s independent review assures compliance while assisting the district in building safe structures for children and public events.
If the council sides with the district, Pettit said, an agreement would be drafted to protect Gilbert’s liability, while still requiring the district to comply with all codes.
In the meantime, he’s asked the district to continue the established process.
The district has no school construction planned in Gilbert within the next year.