NEISD schools hit with construction delays
Subcontractor claims contractor isn’t paying them for work
SAN ANTONIO - The Northeast Independent School District announced Wednesday two of its new elementary schools will not be ready for the first day of school this fall.
According to the district the contractor, Summit Builders informed them Wednesday morning at an emergency meeting they had fallen behind schedule and the schools will not be completed in July as laid out in the contract with the district.
The builder blamed the delays on subcontractors they said walked off the job.
Workers for one of the subcontractors told KSAT 12 News they were forced off the job because Summit wasn't paying them.
"On the 4th we were told that we were not getting paid," said Robert Garcia who works for Apodaca Wall Systems. "We were told to leave the site, to stay in our cars until word came back."
Garcia was working as a framer for Apodaca, a subcontractor hired by Summit Builders to do work on the two new elementary schools. He said he started the job in March and believed the work would last until September but he hasn't worked since the first week of May.
"Last word I got was that Summit was not paying Apodaca," Garcia said. "None of the contractors or subcontractors for Apodaca has gotten paid."
Ernest Garza, a project manager for Apodaca said he was told by his boss to remove the workers from the site because the company wasn't getting paid. He heard the company has been paid a portion of the money Summit owes but not all of it and he doesn't know why.
"That's something in administration. I just know the repercussion is I've got 50 guys that didn't get paid," Garza said. "I'm stuck in the middle as well as 50 other employees."
A spokesman for NEISD was also unable to explain what was going on when it came to the issue of nonpayment.
"We check on the work, we pay the contractor and then the contractor pays the sub contractor," said Vic Garcia an NEISD Spokesman. "So what arrangement the contractor has with the subs I'm not aware."
Whatever is causing the problem doesn't appear to be an isolated incident according to some of the workers.
"I have spoke to the other subcontractors and they're having the same problem," Garza said. "They're not getting paid from Summit."
Until the issues are resolved workers like Robert Garcia are left without a job.
"We've just been on hold and not been told anything," Garcia said.
Summit Builders will be paying penalties for not completing the schools on time.
Starting July 16, they will be charged $2,500 per day per school until they are finished. That's $5,000 every day.
The best estimate anyone has right now is that the schools may not be finished until the start of the second semester.
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