A new 40-thousand square foot field house under construction in Meriden, New Hampshire is now being torn down. State and federal inspectors determined the facility's cement footings were not properly installed.
Work continues at Kimball Union Academy, but it's not the kind of work the private school had hoped for.
Construction on the indoor athletic field, which was being built by JDE, Inc. out of Pennsylvania, came to a screeching halt last November. Inspectors x-rayed the cement footings which hold up the huge steal trusses and found they were not installed correctly.
"When our engineer came forward with his report, he came forward with a recommendation that we remove the footings because they were not being built to code," said Jim Gray, Kimball's C.F.O.
An anonymous donation put the 2-million dollar project on the fast track. It was supposed to be complete last December, but now the school is left footing the bill for the expected cost over-run, which remains unknown.
The original contract with the contractor has been terminated and a lawsuit has been filed in Sullivan County Superior Court. The school is trying to recoup its losses.
"We need to do what's right and what is right here is to deal with the reality of the situation that we have, start over, and build a building that is going to be a terrific facility for our students," Gray said.
And students, who don't currently have an adequate place to practice during the region's long winters, say they can't wait for the new building to be finished.
"Lacrosse and soccer -- all field sports. And even not just sports, but just a place to hang out and pass the ball around and practice and that sort of thing during the winter," said Victoria Pipas, a sophomore.
Deconstruction should be complete in about a month. The whole project is scheduled to be rebuilt and ready for students by the time snow flies this winter.
James DePaul of JDE-Inc. contacted us by phone Tuesday.
He acknowledged that the footings were only 80 percent complete and that more
work needed to be done. But he also said that the current footings are adequate
for the structure in its current state. He says this really comes down to an
agenda on the part of the school and lack of cooperation.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-22 23:16:19 GMT
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