Plans made for sul­lied Galt school build­ing

Lodi News-Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - By Wes Bow­ers NEWS-SEN­TINEL STAFF WRITER

GALT — Su­per­in­ten­dent Wil­liam Spald­ing on Thurs­day said the Galt Joint Union High School Dis­trict will hold a Lodi com­pany ac­count­able for the dam­age suf­fered by an 8-year-old struc­ture due to rain last sum­mer.

Spald­ing pro­vided the dis­trict’s Board of Trus­tees with an up­date of Lib­erty Ranch High School’s Build­ing 700, also known as the Ag Build­ing dur­ing its reg­u­lar meet­ing.

Lodi-based F&H Con­struc­tion built the struc­ture, and work crews in Au­gust dis­cov­ered that a parapet wall, which pro­vides a five to six foot ex­tended bar­rier along the build­ing’s roof, had not been in­stalled prop­erly dur­ing con­struc­tion nearly a decade ago.

Spald­ing said at least three of the build­ing’s four walls suf­fered wa­ter-re­lated dam­age, the ma­jor­ity of it found on the south side.

Work crews last month found dam­age to the sheer ply­wood on the build­ing’s west wall, he said, as well as some dam­age to the north wall.

The heavy rains ex­pe­ri­enced, although short, soaked the in­su­la­tion in the build­ing, as well as the ceil­ing tiles, car­pets and in­te­rior, Spald­ing said.

As a re­sult, the build­ing was deemed too un­safe for oc­cu­pa­tion dur­ing the 2019-2020 school year.

Spald­ing said the wa­ter in­tru­sion in the build­ing was the re­sult of poor work­man­ship.

“We had to peel the build­ing back like an onion to de­tect the scope of the dam­age,” Spald­ing said. “Rather than de­mol­ish the build­ing like you’d nor­mally de­mol­ish one, we’re try­ing to save it.”

Ear­lier in the evening, the board voted 3-0 to ap­prove con­tracts with Belfor Prop­erty Restora­tion and Swin­er­ton Con­struc­tion for restora­tion and de­mo­li­tion of the build­ing, re­spec­tively.

Ex­act costs of each con­tract will not be known un­til some­time next week, Spald­ing said.

Cur­rently, crews have placed scaf­fold­ing around the struc­ture and wrapped it in weather-re­sis­tant tarp so re­pairs can be made dur­ing the com­ing win­ter months.

Spald­ing said the plan­ning and de­sign phase is cur­rently un­der­way, adding he Depart­ment of State Arch­tects should ap­prove plans in De­cem­ber.

Con­struc­tion should be­gin in Jan­uary, and Spald­ing said the goal is to have the build­ing open by next fall.

“We’re work­ing off the orig­i­nal plans,” he said. “The ef­fort is to try and re­store it to as it was, or at least what it was sup­posed to be, rather than just de­mol­ish the whole thing and start over.”

Five agri­cul­tural classes in Build­ing 700 were dis­placed, in­clud­ing ar­chi­tec­tural bi­ol­ogy, me­chan­ics, weld­ing and flori­cul­ture.

Classes were re­lo­cated to Galt High and Estrel­lita High schools.

Spald­ing said the dis­trict is work­ing on ob­tain­ing a waiver from the Of­fice of Pub­lic School Con­struc­tion for fund­ing and sup­port to cover the cost of re­pairs.

An­other up­date of the re­con­struc­tion process will be at the next meet­ing on Nov. 7, he said.

Trus­tees Mark Beck and Terry Parker-Own­ing were ab­sent from the meet­ing.

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