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06-13-06 Floor fix cost to be divided

By William Kincaid

  ST. HENRY -- The financial conflict over the school's moisture damaged floors was resolved Monday night, as the St. Henry school board agreed to pay around $22,000 for floor repair, while other parties involved will pay over $250,000.

  St. Henry and the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) will share the cost of installing a new porcelain floor, with the school picking up only 14 percent of the $161,534 tab.

  Peterson Construction, Fanning & Howey Associates and Turner Construction will together pay a total of $114,000 for the demolition and cleanup of the damaged VCT tile. In addition the costs for Peter Craig, an independent concrete specialist, will be paid by Fanning & Howey. The expenses of Chicago Testing Laboratory Inc. (CTL), a moisture testing firm, will be shared by all three companies.

  "I think in the end we have a win here," board member Bruce Miller said. "I think -- working with all the players -- it's worked out well."

  A new porcelain floor will be installed over 16,420 square feet, replacing a damaged VCT flooring system that covers the high school hallways, commons area and teachers' lounge, according to Superintendent Rod Moorman.  The school will replace 4,380 square feet of sheet vinyl tile in three of the science classrooms, as well.

  "The VCT tile will be replaced with a porcelain/grout tile system in all areas where VCT has been removed except in the science room," according to a St. Henry news release. "The science areas require a welded, acid resident flooring system, which is sheet vinyl."

  Moorman said St. Henry's $22,000 investment with the project will pay for itself in four years, because the school will not have to pay for labor and maintenance to wax the floor twice a year, as it did with the VCT floor.

  Rod Wiford, a representative from Fanning & Howey, also said the porcelain floor will last the entire life of the school's building estimated at anywhere from 40 to 100 years, depending on the preservation and maintenance of the school.

  The board will not have to purchase a topical sealer, which is often placed under the flooring tile to form a moisture barrier.

  During a special board meeting in May, some members thought the board may need to purchase the sealer, which would have cost an additional $50,000.

  The porcelain flooring, according to Moorman, is a breathable material that allows moisture to escape from underneath.

  The flooring manufacturer will not grant a warranty to the school, Moorman told The Daily Standard. But, Peterson Construction, which was originally responsible for all of the contract work on the floors, will guarantee the floor for one year, Moorman added.

  "That's all you're going to get," he said about guarantees on any floors.

  And after consulting with CTL, a moisture testing firm from Chicago and Peter Craig, the board changed its tentative plan for an intensive dehumidification process.

  In May, board members, notably Joan Buschur and Jerry Huelsman, were against laying a floor until they knew it was completely dry.

  "Is the drying process still a variable?" Huelsman asked members, before adding that he thought the board wanted to make sure the floor was thoroughly dry.

  Moorman said that upon recommendation by both CTL and Craig, the decision was made to forgo the dehumidification process because the porcelain floor is breathable and will allow for the release of any additional moisture. Moorman said Terry Liette is securing a written document from CTL on its recommendation.

  All of the old flooring has been removed, and the new floor, according to Moorman, will be completed before the beginning of school in August.


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