Leon County Commission Discusses Hurricane Shutters

The questions were in relation to a more than $2 million hurricane window project currently being done on some Leon County school buildings.

It was said by county staffers that the federally funded project to put retrofitted hurricane shutters on 77 Leon County school buildings has not been smooth sailing, but they also say the project seems to be back on track.

Richard Smith with Leon County Emergency Management says, "It's better protection for our kids and it's better protection for evacuees who need to come here."

The project is being done by a company out of Atlanta called Phoenix Architectural. Locally, the Leon County EOC is in charge of monitoring the project, but Leon County school employees have been doing checks to make sure the job is going well.

Robert Metcalf with Leon County Emergency Management says, "We as the inspection department of the school board are following behind them when notified they're done."

During the project, some concerns were raised about the installation of the shutters, but the school building official and the director both say those problems have been addressed.

Richard Smith says, "Substantial completion of the project was finished. There are still some punch list items, whether it's peeling paint, end caps; we won't pay the contractor until that's completed."

Robert Metcalf adds, "We have inspected three school buildings and have what I would call minor punch list items. No structural deficiencies."

EOC says the shutters will be inspected by at least three different parties, including a federal agency. The county says if the new hurricane shutters were to fail the final inspections, then it would be an option for the county to get the federally awarded money back from Phoenix as stated in the original contract. The deadline is February 28.