The school district had plenty of advance warning that it needed to include those legal terms the terms were specifically listed in the partnership agreement it signed with Broward County.
It was probably just overlooked, said Jennifer Jurado, a director within Broward Countys Environmental Protection and Growth Management Department.
Had the school district included the necessary legal language, the solar panels would have been built, Jurado said.
Even with the legal terms missing, however, Broward County still worked to save the project. According to the written timeline, attorneys for the county believed the legal terms could be added after the fact allowing construction to still go forward.
But the school districts legal staff didnt feel comfortable with that last-minute fix. With the grant deadline looming, there was no time to re-advertise for construction firms. The project was canceled.
Although some of the grant money had to be forfeited, the county was able to keep most of it to fund other local energy conservation and environmental-awareness programs. The school district and county have teamed up before on numerous successful environmental programs, and both say they will continue working together.
Superintendent Robert Runcie, meanwhile, says management changes he made to the districts Facilities & Construction Department should prevent the loss of grant dollars in the future.
Its free money to do something real exciting and innovative, and involve the schools in it, Runcie said. Those are priority items for us, and we should have worked with greater diligence and urgency, and attention to detail, to get that done. Unfortunately, clearly that didnt happen.