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Springfield district fixing floor vibrations

9/5/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Local Schools Board of Education unanimously approved a solution to eliminate vibrations felt when walking on the second floor of the new school building for students in seventh through 12th grades currently under construction.

During a special Sept. 3 meeting, the board declared the matter an urgent necessity, waived the competitive bidding process and agreed to hire M-A Building & Maintenance Co., of Cleveland, which was deemed as having the best of three solicited proposals for solutions to excessive cracking and vibrations of the floor.

The vibrations, along with cracks in the first and second floors of the school building and the second floor of the field house, were discovered in late spring.

According to district officials, the second floor slab in the field house was recently removed and replaced by Lockhart Concrete Co. for a cost of $24,975. Also, Mike Coates Construction recently performed repairs in certain areas on the first floor. The second floor repairs to cracks include the application of a Miracote product, which is a fabric-reinforced cementitious protective coating that bonds to the surface of the slab to bridge over the cracks, according to district officials.

District officials explained an engineering consultant, Korda/Nemeth Engineering, had been consulted about the vibration problem with the second floor, and the implementation of tuned mass dampers (TMDs), which act like shock absorbers, was recommended to mitigate the vibrations.

Officials explained that test TMDs were installed and evaluated, and it was concluded that they would be an appropriate remedy for the vibration issue. The TMDs are being manufactured and tuned by Deicon Inc. for a total cost of $713,600. The installation of the TMDs is being performed by Selinsky Force, which was a subcontractor to Mike Coates Construction and is familiar with the building structure, for the amount of $146,187.

District Superintendent William Stauffer said the floor vibrations were “more of a nuisance” and “not a safety concern.” He also said he is confident the use of the TMDs do not pose any danger.

The board met in executive session for more than one-and-a-half hours to discuss the matter with the district’s attorney, Chris McCloskey, of Bricker & Eckler, before coming out to vote on the resolution.

The resolution states that “the general trades contractor responsible for the concrete installation has failed to fully perform the concrete floor repair work” to address the matter of the floor vibrations.

The competitive bidding process was waived to hire M-A Building & Maintenance to do the work as “expeditiously as possible and [to] avoid additional delays and costs to the project.”

Stauffer said the project is on track to finish by the end of the year, and high school students will move into the new building in early January.

While district officials have settled on a solution to the floor vibration problems, the matter is still in litigation.

McCloskey said he is “hopeful this will be resolved in the near future.”

The next regular board meeting will take place Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. at Schrop Intermediate, located at 2215 Pickle Road.

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