Architect talks about problems with Burgin school construction

November 12, 2004|ANN R. HARNEY

BURGIN - Architect Larry Schwering is unhappy about the progress of the construction project at Burgin school.

Saying the project, which began in February and was set to be completed in mid-October, has not reached the substantial completion phase, "This school district continues to suffer the consequences," Schwering told the Burgin Board of Education Wednesday night.

The $1.75 million project includes replacement of the heating and air conditioning system, renovation of restrooms, the addition of two classrooms and expansion of the band room.

The partner in Lucas/Schwering Architects of Lexington said that the project is not only late in completion but the quality of some of the work is not up to industry standards.


"He continues to have quality slippage," Schwering told the board.

"Some of the work will have to be redone." Among the items installed incorrectly are the wall light switches. Schwering said the height of the switches is wrong and will have to be moved, involving not only the electrician but those in masonry, painting and possibly the floor covering to correct the problem.

The roof leaks

The architect says the roof leaks and the roofer has not come back to work because he has not been paid. Not so, says Kendall Johnson, the project manager for Preston-Cook, the Danville company that is the general contractor for the project.

The roofer, Johnson said, has been paid for this job, but he has not been paid for a job he's doing in London for Preston-Cook. He hasn't been paid for that job because the roof leaks.

"He hasn't fulfilled the contract in London and we aren't going to pay him until we get the leaks stopped," he said in a telephone interview Thursday.

"That's not our problem,'' Burgin Superintendent Richard Webb said today.

Johnson also said he is aware of only one light switch that is at the wrong height and that will be replaced. It will involve cutting the concrete block out and replacing it, plus repositioning the light switch.

Schwering said at least two subcontractors have not been paid. One of those subcontractors is the company hired to put in the heating and air-conditioning system, but work is continuing on that part of the project, Webb said.

Johnson said he is not familiar with the financial status of the project.

The original project manager is not on the job now and Schwering and Johnson agree on that point.

"He has not had the benefit of having knowledge of the project from the beginning," Schwering said of Johnson. Johnson said he has been on the job for two-and-a-half months.

Completion date disagreement

Schwering and Johnson also disagree on the contractual completion date. Schwering said the project was to be finished on Oct. 19. Johnson and Webb say Oct. 29 was the date set after change orders lengthened the time it would take to complete the project.

While 10 days were added, there was other extra work ordered for which the general contractor did not receive more time in which to finish the job. "They denied us several days," Johnson said. "If you do extra work, it's gong to take longer to do it."

Johnson said the project was set back from the start when the electrical and dry- wall companies hired to work on the building went out of business and new subs had to be found to do the work. "We had to put together an electrical crew and it's the electrical work that's put us behind on the job."

The project manager says workers are on the job seven days a week and he expects the project will reach the substantial completion phase by the middle of next week. Once the punch list - list of things needing to be done - is compiled, the general contractor has 30 days to complete them.

Schwering said the fire alarm system has not been fully certified and the certificate of occupancy is a temporary one.

"Things have to be fixed before it becomes a permanent (certificate of occupancy.)"

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