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Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Construction issues still haunt officials

District has dealt with flooring problems, leaks

By Shelley Grieshop
ST. HENRY - School officials hope they've dealt with the last of the problems lingering from a massive construction project nine years ago.
On Monday, school board members discussed the longevity of warranties on materials and labor and whether they should finally consider the project closed. No action was taken.
St. Henry partnered with the Ohio School Facilities Commission to build the new high school/middle school complex and have worked with the organization, as well as area contractors, to fix flooring issues and nagging leaks.  
Shortly after construction was complete on the new building in 2002, local officials noticed "bubbling" - a sign of moisture problems on several floors in the building. In June 2006, an agreement was penned with contractors to replace the floors in several areas at a total cost of nearly $275,000.
The school also has experienced ongoing leaking from the roof in multiple areas. On some days, buckets had to be strategically placed to catch drips during hard rains. Ceiling tiles were frequently ruined.
With help from contracting consultant Structure Tec and numerous tests on every side of the building, it was discovered the flashing - material used to protect the structure from moisture - was deteriorating.
Superintendent Rod Moorman said a representative from the company that manufactured the flashing claimed the contractors left the material exposed to the sun too long during the construction phase.
"Everyone was blaming each other," Moorman said.
About two months ago, the flashing in the problem areas was replaced with an upgraded material and subsequently passed tests for moisture control. The repair work was completed at the expense of the contractor, Moorman said.
School officials hope they can now close the door on the project but remain skeptical. They are closely watching the outcome of similar problems currently experienced by Mississinawa Valley School in Darke County.
"They built their school about the same time we did with the same people (contractors) and are having the same problems we've had," Moorman said.
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