News 4 exposes possible shortcuts taken in painting of St. Louis public schools

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by Chris Nagus / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on June 27, 2013 at 9:56 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 2 at 4:42 PM

 (KMOV) – News 4 investigated the bidding process of St. Louis Public Schools in selecting a painting company for two buildings.

St. Louis Public Schools alerted anyone who was bidding to paint Sumner and Roosevelt High schools, both built before 1980, contained lead.

The Painter’s District Council alerted News 4 to allegations that a non-union group, which won out the bid, was not complying with precautions when it comes to lead.

Union members snapped photos of peeling paint inside Sumner High and paint chips scattered in the hallway staircase. They claim to have had the paint chips tested and the lab results show unsafe levels of lead.

This taxpayer funded job received four bids; Raineri Construction had the lowest bid at $4.4 Million and the next closest was at $6.2 million and above.

Rich Lucks with the Painters Union said this is more about not winning the bid on the job, he says they are shooting from a level playing field.

Lucks said the undercover video shot by his union showed corners are being cut and that potentially hazardous paint chips aren’t being handled correctly.

News 4’s Chris Nagus questioned the legitimacy of the paint chips and their lab results to the union officials.

Lucks told News 4 “are we the final say in this, absolutely not but if we say to somebody, there’s potential hazards, let’s take it to a third party. “

Between OSHA, the EPA and the City’s Building Division, there are plenty of third parties.

News 4 will be following up with all of them to see if they are investigating the claims made by the union. 

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