SPMS Gym Renovation | Adressing Unforeseen Challenges to Board of Education

The reconstruction effort is 15 percent complete, according to South Pasadena Unified School District Superintendent Geoff Yantz, but ‘unforeseen conditions’ of damage within its walls will increase the cost of the project

PHOTO: Eric Fabbro | SouthPasadenan.com News | School Board members Michele Kipke and Jon Primuth

Progress is being made, but concerns have been raised about the condition of a building being rehabilitated on the South Pasadena Middle School campus.

An official from Balfour Beatty Construction provided an update on the project during Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting and the results were grim, meaning the district will pay more for the project than the original cost with contingencies built in.

The old gymnasium on campus is being overhauled with a new black box theater, art room and a flex-lab in its interior.

The reconstruction effort is 15 percent complete, according to South Pasadena Unified School District Superintendent Geoff Yantz, noting the focus on the presentation before the school board was on “unforeseen conditions” in the building.

PHOTO: Eric Fabbro | SouthPasadenan.com News | Deni Valderrama of Balfour Beatty speaks to the Board of Education

Deni Valderrama of Balfour Beatty, in making is project update to the Board of Education, said “unforeseen challenges” were being met as the project moves into its fourth month.

Yantz projects higher costs as a result of those challenges, including:

  • Unforeseen damaged/rotted framing members.
  • Inadequate framing members.
  • Water damage from existing (roof) leaks.
  • Unforeseen existing concrete slab below grade (under the current concrete slab) – Required additional demo.
  • Transite (Asbestos) pipe at boiler.
  • Unforeseen lead abatement for paint (not in Hazmat report).
  • Additional requirements for waterproofing below grade walls.
  • Added ramp/wheelchair lift on south entrance.

Yantz said additional costs are unknown at this time based on resubmitting re-structural revisions to the Department State of Architects. “Once we get approval there, we’ll know what the cost implications are,” he said. “Other than that, it’s going okay.”

SouthPasadenan.com News | Construction is underway for the conversion of the old gym into multiple facilities at SPMS

Yantz is mindful with the unforeseen conditions of the building that the project could be delayed but, like Valderrama, is hopeful it can still be completed by the original projected ending day of August 17, 2020.

The total guaranteed maximum price (GMP) for construction is just shy of $11 million, said Yantz, with approximately $800,000 earmarked for contingencies, inclusive of that figure. “If it’s not spent then it comes back to the [school] district,” he said. “We have a price of what it will cost to build. We have set aside contingencies just for this reason.”

Valderrama noted, “The $800,000 [for contingencies], I highly doubt we’ll use all of that, but the waterproofing alone might be 50 or 60K.” He explained it would have been less expensive to level the building and put up a new one, but construction is too far along now to see a savings.

PHOTO: Eric Fabbro | SouthPasadenan.com News | Deni Valderrama of Balfour Beatty and his colleague speak to the Board of Education

The superintendent said the findings will add to the cost of the rehabilitated structure designed by renowned architects Smith and Williams, who enjoyed a post-World War II building boom with projects like the old SPMS gymnasium, many centered around the Pasadena and South Pasadena area. When the board addressed the issue of what do to with the structure about three years ago, preservationists attended meetings strongly urging for the façade of the historic venue remain intact, valuing the work of Smith and Williams.

A $98 million bond measure approved by local voters is funding the project.

 

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