Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Engineer: School roof safe, but still needs repairs

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 11/26/2013

Though in need of repairs, the Garfield Elementary School roof does not pose a safety threat, a structural engineer has determined.

Structural engineer Wayne Davis, with Bob D. Campbell and Co., Kansas City, Mo., recently inspected the roof and said it showed “no potential for failure,” Jeanne Stroh, Ottawa superintendent, said Tuesday.

Though in need of repairs, the Garfield Elementary School roof does not pose a safety threat, a structural engineer has determined.

Structural engineer Wayne Davis, with Bob D. Campbell and Co., Kansas City, Mo., recently inspected the roof and said it showed “no potential for failure,” Jeanne Stroh, Ottawa superintendent, said Tuesday.

The Ottawa school board earlier this month approved hiring Davis to perform a safety analysis of the Garfield roof structure at a cost of $9,600 after technical consultant Greg Leslie with The Garland Company Inc., a building materials company that has worked with numerous school districts in the Kansas City metropolitan area, said the roof substructure at Garfield “doesn’t meet building codes to support the existing roof, much less a new roof.”

Leslie’s revelation was the latest chapter in an ongoing battle between the school district and Manning Construction Company and its subcontractors.

The Ottawa school district filed a civil suit April 13, 2011, against Manning Construction and several subcontractors, seeking damages for what it claimed was faulty work — citing leaks in the roofs and cracking in the floors of Garfield and Lincoln elementary schools within a year of the projects being completed. Manning was the general contractor in charge of the construction of Lincoln, 1102 N. Milner Road, and a major renovation project at Garfield, 1213 S. College St., which began in 2005. Both projects were substantially complete in early 2007, according to court documents.

Almost two years to the day after the civil suit was filed, the school board voted April 15 to approve a $2.5 million settlement negotiated between attorneys and representatives of Manning Construction and the school district negotiating team of then-school board president Susan Ward, school board member Dennis George and the district’s attorney, Michael Norris.

The school board voted in June to accept Kansas City, Kan.-based Delta Innovative Services’ low bid of $1,140,000 to repair the roof at Garfield, and to approve Olathe-based Boone Brothers Roofing’s low bid of $1,141,300 to repair Lincoln’s roof. The problem with Garfield’s roof substructure recently was discovered as workers prepared to install the new roof at the school.

Davis is expected to complete his report on the Garfield roof in the next three to four weeks, at which time the district likely would have a better indication of what the recently discovered additional repair work would cost, Stroh said Tuesday.

With questions about the safety of the Garfield roof now answered, repairs to the roofs at Garfield and Lincoln have been pushed back to this summer to avoid disrupting students and staff, Stroh said.

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