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School hires firm to probe defect

October 24, 2012
Kylie Saari , Fairmont Sentinel

FAIRMONT - Fairmont Area Schools approved hiring a company to investigate the cause of a cracking floor in Fairmont Elementary.

The terrazzo floor was installed in the new addition of the school and began cracking soon after. Contractors involved have been reluctant to identify a cause of the break, making it difficult to identify the party responsible for fixing it.

Legal counsel obtained by the district advised the board to hire a third party to complete a full review of the design and laying of the floor.

"Terrazzo floors are made to last 50, 60, 70 years," said Superintendent Joe Brown, "so to have cracks in the floor after one or two years is totally unacceptable."

On Tuesday, the board hired Collaborative Design Group at an estimated cost of $10,000 to 15,000. The district will use money remaining in the building fund to pay the costs.

After the cause is determined, the appropriate company will be held responsible for fixing the problem, along with the costs of the analysis.

The floor was one of three major issues remaining to be addressed from the construction. The other two - a faulty detention pond and heating issues - are on track to be fixed within the year.

Brown said the company responsible for the pond retaining water instead of detaining water was identified as the Joseph Company, which is working on plans to remove the 250 dump-truck loads of dirt from the pond and replace it with the correct soil to let the water through.

Fairmont has withheld payments to the contractor of the elementary addition until all projects are completed satisfactorily.



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