Chris Arnold, director of buildings and grounds for the school district, gave the forecast to the Grand Forks School Board earlier this week. After hearing Arnold’s detailed report, the school council passed an emergency statement to allow the district administrators to bypass the bidding process in order to address the issue more quickly. The declaration is required for projects expected to cost more than $ 200,000.
The problem was discovered last week, Arnold told board members, showing about a dozen photos showing the location and extent of the damage to the structure.
“A few years ago we replaced a significant amount of bricks,” he said.
The school’s pool area is very humid, he said. “The moisture tries to get from the inside to the outside. (It) has accumulated on old and new bricks. It’s a mess. I don’t know how else to tell you this. “
The addition that houses the pool was built in 1985 and since then the insulation has deteriorated, Arnold said, adding that he wasn’t sure if this was due to the relocation of the building or some other factor.
The excess moisture is noticeable on exterior tiles, which are darker in color and “wherever there is a seam between the wall and the roof line,” he said.
The nature and extent of the damage will not be known “until we pull down part of the ceiling,” he said. When asked about safety, Arnold replied at this point: “I don’t see a stone falling.”
The problem was “80% isolation-related,” he said. “The other 20% relates to HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning). From 35 years ago to today, the way we isolate has been incredibly different. “
In one of his photos, Arnold pointed to wood that sits behind a metal siding that is “oversaturated and actually pours out water when you compress it,” he said. “It is likely that the wooden structure under all metal facades will need to be completely replaced for structural integrity reasons,” he noted in the caption.
“The water damage on the roof section above the pool is pretty severe. Cracks appear, ”he explained another photo.
Arnold said he and his team want to partner with JLG Architects because the company’s staff designed the addition.
Student access to the pool may need to be blocked, “but that would be a last resort,” he said.
School district administrators have historically requested and received emergency clarifications from school boards for projects that require swift action, said Scott Berge, business manager.
Without the issuance of this emergency declaration by the authorities, “it would have taken four to six weeks for the tendering process for the design work as well as the deconstruction and reconstruction of the damaged areas to be completed,” said Berge.
The North Dakota Century Code allows school authorities to issue an emergency statement if the project is “time sensitive,” he said.