The Clarence T.C. Ching Athletic Complex, formerly known as Cooke Field, has been unusable since the turf was removed earlier this year.
New appeal delays UH field work
A contractor believes the winning bidder lacks proper licenses
A contractor is fighting the University of Hawaii's decision to proceed with repairs to the football team's practice field, delaying the project again.
UH's Clarence T.C. Ching Athletic Complex, formerly known as Cooke Field, is currently unusable since the turf has been removed.
On Aug. 13 the university awarded RMY Construction Inc., the lowest bidder, the $862,381 contract to install new turf, but work has been on hold because of protests from two contractors.
UH has since denied the protests, but CO-HA Builders Inc., doing business as Applied Surfacing Technology, appealed the university's decision.
The appeal puts repairs at the field on hold again until the issue is resolved, said UH spokesman Gregg Takayama.
A preliminary hearing is set for Tuesday before the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Hearings officer Sheryl Nagata will preside over the case starting Sept. 23.
Applied Surfacing Technology did not return a call for comment yesterday. The law firm representing the contractor, Bays Deaver Lung Rose Holma Attorneys at Law, was not available for a comment.
The company claimed the winning bid should be rejected because neither the contractor nor its subcontractor has the proper specialty license to do the work.
Takayama said the university denied the protests by Applied Surfacing and Ching's Nursery Inc., doing business as Service Contracting, because the university "felt the lowest bidder was awarded the contract in a rightful manner."
He said the university will "aggressively" attempt to resolve the issue.
"We do want to proceed with the contract; therefore, we've hired a private attorney," he said. Attorney William McCorriston will represent the university in the hearing.
The governor released $1.2 million to repair the turf, and the Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation donated $5 million for the complex.
"It's important to resolve the legal obstacles to this matter as quickly as we possibly can so that we can move on and begin work on the project," said athletic director Jim Donovan in a news release. "If we can do that, the new field would be ready this season and really help the football team as well as such groups as the band and ROTC."