Thought Exercise: School Complex

You are the Director of Construction Management on a $44 million project to build a K-12 school complex in a small town outside of Los Angeles. The project has had its ups and downs but most of the glitches have been worked out and the project is nearing completion.

The building inspector has come to do one of the final walk-throughs. He pulls you aside and tells you that the stairways throughout the building are 6” too narrow and not conformed to code. You measure them yourself and find that he’s right. Your most trusted construction engineer asserts her belief that the 6” do not make a practical difference in the safety of the structure.

The building inspector indicates to you that he won’t put the discrepancy in the final report if you hire him on your next project. You had anticipated hiring him on your next project before this issue arose.

What do you do?