Fire Training Center Nears Completion

A request to extend the contract date for the Washington fire training center by 10 working days was presented to city council Monday night.

Ron Unnerstall with Washington Engineering & Architecture, P.C., also updated the city council on Phase II of the project’s progress and one problem, which already has been remedied.

“I want to commend, first, the fire department. While you may not know it, their building committee goes out there every Monday night and inspects the whole site. They send me a list of everything they think they see wrong and we go through it.”

Pushing Date Back

Unnerstall said the contractor has been busy trying to get the project done on time, even working some weekends. The contract completion date is Dec. 7.

The contractor was on schedule to be finished by the contracted date, and possibly earlier, Unnerstall said, however, a scheduling conflict “threw a wrench into the gears.”

Ameren Missouri was scheduled to provide the permanent power on Friday after Thanksgiving. The date was chosen with the neighbors because the company needs to shut down electric in the area to complete the work.

“That date became unrealistic for the neighbor and now it has been moved to Dec. 3, which is 10 calendar days later,” Unnerstall told the council. “This is a direct impact on their schedule and is out of their control.”

If approved, the new contract completion date will be Dec. 19.

The Insurance Service Office (ISO) evaluation has been postponed until next spring, Fire Chief Bill Halmich said, noting that the contract date won’t affect the inspection.

Cost to Date

Unnerstall also updated the council on the cost of the project.

The total budget was $1.25 million. The current cost is at $1.093 million.

Unnerstall said there will be about $2,090 in deductions and nearly $14,000 in an allowance that was put in the contract and will not have to be used.

Another change is a “conceal condition,” in which the conduit put in for the street lights eight years ago was never connected. The contractor will fix the conduit on a not-to-exceed $5,000 basis.

Insulation Problem

The final update was an insulation problem, which has since been corrected.

“The insulation did not meet the specifications, so we felt obligated not to approve it,” Unnerstall explained.

The contractor and subcontractors made a proposal for remedial action, which has taken place.

“The insulation as it’s being compressed loses its insulation value. Our concern was whether the HVAC equipment will be adequate enough to make up for the loss in R-value,” he said. “We calculated that it was borderline and we worried about yearly operational costs.”

Unnerstall explained that because of the reduced insulation value, the cost to heat the building would increase every year and the equipment may not be large enough or sufficient enough to do so on extremely hot or cold days.

The remediation was to add extra insulation in the office area, which is air-conditioned and heated. The office area accounts for about one-third of the building.

“This would provide operating costs less than we anticipated. The savings in the office area would offset the cost of heating in the (bay) area, so it would be a wash on operational costs,” Unnerstall said.

The problem arose when the spacing in the purlins was changed, which caused compression of the insulation. Purlins span between each frame in the steel building.

Structurally, the spacing doesn’t matter, Unnerstall noted, but the insulating vendor couldn’t meet the specifications with the reduced spacing. He said the contractor changed the spacing without realizing that it would have an effect on the insulation. The problem has since been fixed. The contractor and subcontractors are responsible for the cost of remediation.

Halmich highlighted the benefits of the fire training center, once complete.

“This has been a long battle to get this project going. We’ve been working on this since 2005,” he said. “The thing to remember is that, in this building, there are a lot of facets and components that made it a challenging project. We’re trying to get all of it done with integrity. . .This is a real asset for the future for the citizens.”