By Gary Nelson
Senior staff writer
County commissioners are hoping a new plan might help to solve lingering problems and leaks at the Justice Center.
The Cumberland County Building and Grounds committee voted to allow County Mayor Kenneth Carey Jr. and county attorney Randal Boston work together with architects to come up with a resolution to leaking problems at the Justice Center.
Mayor Carey told commissioners on the committee that the architects were willing to work with the county and work out a solution for the problems. The old high school portion of the Justice Center has leaked since the project was completed. After nearly two years, the county decided to hire an independent company to perform a study and help determine what was causing the leaks.
A study by Cope and Associates Engineering and Architectural Services revealed several problems.
"You've got three problems over there that are causing all the leaks. One is the windows were improperly installed. The second is the coping and flashing and the third is a large portion of the building needs tuckpointing and sealing. You can't fault Mid-State for that because that was not in the specs," said Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey Jr.
The county then hired Sid Hankins of Roof Design and Consulting Service of Knoxville, an independent architectural consultant who was going to help bid out the project for repairs, but according to Carey, Hankins resigned from the project because he decided he no longer wanted the job with the county.
The company and Hankins were recommended to the county by Cope and Associates.
"He said it was nothing against the county, but he no longer wanted to be involved with the project. We were ready to go to bid, but now we're not ... honestly, I think we can work this out with Upland (Design Group)," Carey said.
According to the original report presented by Cope and Associates, the leaks are being caused by "three building component failures."
The three areas are coping and parapets, improperly sealed and deteriorating joints; exterior stone and masonry, open, deteriorating and improperly sealed mortar joints, damaged stone units and/or improperly protected openings; and window openings that are missing or improperly installed flashing and waterproofing.
There are 56 windows that need to removed and reinstalled, window trim that needs to be replaced and repainted, caulked and trimmed with sheet metal. New sheet metal needs to be added for flashing and at the heads and sills of the windows, waterproofing around each opening and a water resistant barrier needs to be added.
The report also states that 12,500 square feet of the concrete brick needs to be pointed (concrete reapplied in between the bricks) on the exterior portion of the building using type "O" mortar and 52,500 linear feet of the mortar joints needs to be repaired. Flashing and metal coping at parapet caps also needs to be performed.
Upland Design Group worked as architects on the newer portion of the project and Midstate Construction was the contractor on the project.
Frank Sparkman, architect of Sparkman and Associates, worked as an architect on the restoration of the old high school portion of the Justice Center expansion project. Sparkman and Associates was hired by Upland.
Mayor Carey said, "Upland wants to make this right with the county. I think we can definitely work something out, it's just a matter of getting together on the specifics."
Charles Seiber, 4th District Commissioner, made a motion to allow Mayor Carey, Building and Grounds Committee Chair Sonya Rimmer and attorney Boston to meet with Kim Chamberlin, architect with Upland Design Group, to address and work out leaking problems with Justice Center.
Larry Allen, 6th District commissioner, supported the motion and it was approved unanimously.