Complaint Filed with West Virginia Board of Architecture

“SITE SELECTION EVALUATION” A JOKE

from: MATERIALS IN SUPPORT OF A REVITALIZED WOODBURN SITE

VIII. Complaint Filed with West Virginia Board of Architecture


VIII. A. Complaint filed by Chris Haddox

6/12/10

Mr. Jeffrey Kreps, President

WV Board of Architecture

5th Avenue, Suite 220

PO Box 9125

Huntington, WV  25704-0125

RE:            Complaint against Mr. Ted Shriver

Dear Mr. Kreps,

I am writing to file a complaint against Mr. Ted Shriver concerning his involvement with the Monongalia County Board of Education (BOE). Mr. Shriver has been hired by the Mon BOE to assist in the development of a new school utilizing recently awarded School Building Authority (SBA) funding from the State of West Virginia. This project would result in the closing of two schools, Woodburn and Easton Elementary Schools, and the subsequent development of a new consolidated school. Mr. Shriver has consistently withheld information, disseminated misinformation, and dodged questions from the public to elevate the Mon BOE’s preferred site for the new school (the Mileground) and downplay the usable, existing site of Woodburn Elementary. The following is a detailed accounting of Mr. Shriver’s lack of ethical behavior in this matter.

March 11, 2010:  In response to a request from the Mon BOE, Mr. Shriver designed a site review matrix to be completed by members from the community. The review was supposedly designed to gather useful information about three potential building sites. Fourteen individuals were chosen to complete the review, six from each school involved in the closure/consolidation project, plus two “neutral” citizens. The review matrix was e-mailed on Thursday, March 11, with instructions to return the completed review by 4:00 the following day, Friday, March 12, 2010.

Upon opening the matrix, I could see that we had been given an invalid measure. Laypersons from the community were asked to rank three sites on seventeen different criteria. The following made this a demonstrably flawed request:

  • The survey failed to divulge the location of the site that we now refer to as the Mileground site.
  • There was a complete lack of hard data about any of the sites. My specific request for geo-technical analysis of the sites went unanswered by Mr. Shriver.
  • The BOE had, at this point in time, a report on the Mileground site from TRIAD Engineering dated March 3, 2010 that closed by summarizing that “the site in question has a very high potential for subsidence.”

Surely, Mr. Shriver was aware of this report, or should have been, and failed to make it available to those completing the site review. Any results generated by this frivolous exercise were completely subjective and undoubtedly non-repeatable with a different set of respondents. This exercise was a waste of taxpayer money and clearly designed to build a case for the BOE’s preferred site and against all other sites.

SUMMARY OF CHARGE:  Frivolous expenditure of taxpayer monies; deliberately rigging a survey instrument; failure to provide requested information that was in hand.

March 23, 2010:  At a BOE meeting on March 23, 2010, with public in attendance, Mr. Shriver presented his “findings” from the site review. As expected, the BOE’s preferred site was the clear winner. When questioned about the source of the numbers he presented, Mr. Shriver did not clarify his process. I questioned the Board about the process by which a school board can request a waiver to WVDE Policy 6200 site size guidelines. Mr. Shriver stated that he did not believe any school project in WV had been granted a waiver. This is untrue. At a meeting in April, SBA director Mark Manchin said that he could think of three schools that had received waivers “off the top of his head.”

SUMMARY OF CHARGE:      Deliberately withholding information related to the evaluation of the sites in question; negligently providing misinformation about site size waivers.

June 8, 2010:        At a BOE meeting on June 8, 2010, with at least fifty community members in attendance, Mr. Shriver made a presentation that drew understandable laughter from the audience. Mr. Shriver revisited his summary of the aforementioned site review analysis, only this time withholding additional information from his spreadsheet, choosing only to show totals and to reassert his claim that the Mileground site was the clear winner according to a community panel of respondents. When asked by the public about the data missing from his table, he replied that he did have that, but he deliberately chose to not present it so as to not confuse anyone. Upon continued requests to share the information, he failed to do so.

In response to an alternative, three-story Woodburn school proposal that had been designed and presented by community members, Mr. Shriver said that he “thought” that National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) would not allow a three-story school. He went on to say that he could not point to any ruling by the WV State Fire Marshall, but he recounted some experience he had where he had to redesign due to level of exist discharge issues. There is nothing in the NFPA 2009 that will prevent a three-story school so long as construction type requirements are met. A discussion with the WV State Fire Marshall confirmed this.

To make the argument that the Mileground site outranked the Woodburn site in the Community Connectivity/Development Density and the Alternative Transportation credit areas of the Sustainable Sites category of the LEED for Schools rating system, Mr. Shriver stated that the Woodburn neighborhood did not any bus lines. There are two different bus lines, which stop within 100 feet of the school site.

Mr. Shriver attempted to paint a picture of the Mileground site as being located in a more walkable area than the Woodburn location, even in the absence of sidewalks along the most congested stretch of road in Morgantown. He attempted to appease the chuckling crowd by saying he had asked the WV Division of Highways to please put sidewalks on the proposed school side, so that there would be a walking route to the variety of services along the Mileground. In his summary of services within a half-mile of the site, Mr. Shriver failed to include the Hot Spots and strip bar, yet he made sure to point out the “taverns” (local restaurants) that are within 1/2 mile of the Woodburn site. Mr. Shriver attempted to show that the Woodburn site was only within walking distance of a few taverns and a church. A study of goods/service located within 1/2 mile of the Woodburn site AND with walking routes to them, indicates that the site easily complies with this LEED credit. There are at least ten such services.

Mr. Shriver again failed to apprise his client, which by default is the public, of needed information by not mentioning that waivers can be sought to address acreage guidelines. The BOE’s own successfully funded proposal to the SBA includes the option of rebuilding on the existing Woodburn site, so clearly Mr. Shriver knew that a waiver was possible.

SUMMARY OF CHARGES:  Failure to exercise due diligence in his study of the LEED potential for each site; failure to mention how the Woodburn site could potentially earn points under the Materials and Resources category for C&D waste diversion, reuse of materials and local materials; deliberately making false and misleading statements about both the BOE’s preferred site and the existing Woodburn site; failure to exercise due diligence.

I look forward to discussing this matter with you and to clarify, if necessary, any of the instances described above. While Mr. Shriver may be a competent architect, he has displayed a consistent lack of professionalism and ability in this particular situation. For 6-7% of a $15,000,000 project, Mr. Shriver should be bringing far more to the table.

Posted in Uncategorized. Leave a Comment »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s