Commissioners approve $300,000 more for Civic Center repair project

City Commissioners approved a $300,000 change order to the Civic Center facade contract bringing the new total contract amount to $5.71 million.

Commissioners approved the original contract in April for $5.41 to Talisman Construction Services.

More Civic Center repairs needed; staff considering office space options

Commissioners granted budget authority of $6 million in downtown tax increment bonds, according to staff, leaving a balance of $288,318 with the contract change.

Staff said that if future change orders were needed, they could also be funded through other sources, such as TIF, CARES Act funds and possibly some American Rescue Plan Act funds.

City Commissioners approved land swap; wayfinding plan; Civic Center repair contract

Staff said that additional issues have been found that “could not have been foreseen with the existing study as each of these conditions were concealed by the stone panels and parapet materials.”

In 2016, the city conducted an engineering study on the facade that included removing a panel and that made contractors aware of some of the underlying conditions of the building.

$5.4 million Civic Center repair contract on April 6 City Commission agenda

Other issues found during the “destructive exploratory demolition phase” of the project include, according to the staff report:

  • Repair the auditorium parapet (there may be areas of the lower parapet that will require work later in the process but they aren’t uncovered yet). Basically, when originally constructed, they used whatever materials they had to finish the parapet (the top of the wall) and cover it with the stone. With the new exterior, we want to set the new top stone pieces flat and level across the top of each wall, but the existing substrate construction was poorly constructed with irregular elevation changes. We proposed to have the contractor reconstruct as necessary to make it level. Possible impact: up to $65,500.
  • Brick sticking out up to one-inch from the substrate material inconsistently. Once the panels are removed, there is sometimes a row of brick behind them that sticks into the stone attachment area of up to one-inch. The new panels will miss these bricks, but in order to ensure the new attachment system will be level and plumb, some of these bricks may have to be either ground down, chipped, shimmed, or removed. Possible impact: up to $46,500.
  • Remove excess mortar. When they pull panels, some of them have so much excess mortar on the substrate wall, that it makes it impossible to set the new panels vertically plumb. There is substantially more mortar in some voids than in the test areas that were exposed earlier in the process. Much of the excess mortar needs to
    be pulled off/cleaned out. Possible impact: up to $80,000
  • Failed brick portion. One section of the brick wall has failed and is falling away from the substrate and should be removed, cleaned and reinstalled. Possible impact: up to $25,000.
  • Steel corrosion. During review of the failed brick portion, corroded steel structure has been identified. The structural team is reviewing this as a full system in the building, with more information to come later. Possible impact: to be determined.
  • Fly loft parapet. This parapet is in much better condition than the auditorium indicated above in the first item. But it isn’t completely level across the top. Some of it has settled over time and should be re-leveled prior to panel installation. Possible impact: up to $7,000.
  • Work through winter. Because of the extra prep they should be doing to the substrate, they can work through winter for much less cost than extending their schedule at the end. Possible impact: up to $13,000.

City to receive $20 million in COVID funds; aquatic center plan updated; GFPD chief replacement process underway; Civic Center facade contract pushed to April 6

The total for those items is more than $237,000 and “capture most possibly unknowns but there are a few that we anticipate showing up as we get into other areas of the building and addressing the steel corrosion in still an unknown,” according to the staff report.

“Our intent is to have the building out live all of us while being fiscally prudent,” said Craig Raymond, city planning director.