Mountain House High School already needs expensive repairs
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Aug 08, 2014 | 7422 views | 12 12 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MOUNTAIN HOUSE — A final review of Mountain House High School, which is due to open Aug. 20, revealed sections of the sidewalk that don’t meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards and will require $140,000 in repairs.

The noncompliance was discovered a couple of weeks ago during a final construction review at 1090 S. Central Parkway, according to Lammersville Unified School District Superintendent Kirk Nicholas, and the California Division of the State Architect — which regulates access compliance — is requiring that those areas be corrected.

“I walked the campus and this area, coming up to about 10 times, and the shift in concrete is often negligible to the eye. However, when they put a digital level on it, it has to meet a certain mark,” Nicholas said. “If it doesn’t say 2.3 or less, then it’s noncompliant. So it’s a standard that meets the ADA requirements, but it comes down to a digital level, and the reading for that particular area is a concern for the board and the district.”

Although several small sections of sidewalk around the school were found to be noncompliant, Nicholas said the biggest area of concern was a section of sidewalk on the southeast side near the softball field and parking lot.

“It’s going to be resolved,” Nicholas said. “It was such a rapid shift, there are some specific questions that need to be answered,” such as who is responsible: the design team, construction crews or oversight.

He said the district hoped to recoup all or most of the money needed to fix the problem once it was revealed who was responsible.

During the school board meeting on Wednesday, trustees criticized officials involved in the construction project about the problem.

“We don’t want to hear excuses,” said trustee Sharon Lampel. “We have a problem. We ordered a product, we bought a product. If this were Macy’s, I’d return it.”

“Residents should be upset,” she said. “That’s $140,000 that could be spent directly on children.”

Trustee Shane Nielson said, “If we can’t pass compliance, we can’t open the school. We need to get it fixed now.”

Harry Smith, a Turner Construction Co. executive, said the process used to construct some of the sidewalks was chosen to save the district money. He said it would have cost $510,000 to import specific materials to go under the sidewalk sites.

“I can’t explain it,” he said. “The stuff is moving and it’s moving a lot. I don’t think it’s done moving.”

Board President David Pombo said he felt appropriate measures weren’t taken during this construction process.

After the meeting, Nicholas said, “This is a compliance issue, and we’re making sure that we’re taking every step possible to make sure that we’re getting the quality product. It’s an unforeseen issue that has to be addressed, and we’re going to make sure we do our due diligence.”

Nicholas said that workers had already begun replacing the problematic sidewalk sections, and the entire repair was expected to be completed by next Friday. That completion deadline gives the district a five-day window before the school is slated to open on Aug. 20.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at drizzo@tracypress.com or 830-4225.

Comments
(12)
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mhousian
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August 17, 2014
First of all nickiph, you do not know my family. This isn't all about you. As for parking spaces, most of the time I see tons of empty handicapped spots while the rest of the lot is full...no wonder someone who isn't truly handicapped might be tempted to take one of the only empty spots available. And if the handicapped spots are taken by people who aren't truly handicapped, then I would blame the ADA for making it too easy for anyone who so much as has a hangnail to get a handicapped placard/license plate. And yes, I don't need a lecture about uneven surfaces, but when we're talking about being out of tolerance by an amount that only an electronic device can see, you're really going to notice the difference when pushing? Really???
rayderfan
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August 09, 2014
Did the School District cut out the cost of a project manager to save money? These things should have been caught by the project manager.

Also, are the architects, contractors and project manager meeting weeklies to review progress? These things should have been caught before the work was completed.

Finally, if these items do not meet the project specs then the district shouldn't have to pay for them until they meet design requirements.

In all cases an experienced project manager would have caught these items and corrected them before they got this far. When a public organization undertakes this type of project 9 times out of 10 they try to cut the cost of a project manager out and manage the project with existing staff. That never works.
75erforlife
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August 08, 2014
They're lucky that attorney Scott Johnson didn't get a hold of this. I'm sure he would have sued the socks off the school district, and shut them down, just like a score of businesses that have shuttered their doors.
Wobbley
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August 14, 2014
People don't want compassionate attorneys, I think your post is good advertising for this guy.
Wobbley
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August 08, 2014
Shouldn't the original contractor be responsible for the repairs in this case?
Wobbley
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August 08, 2014
"“I can’t explain it,” he said. “The stuff is moving and it’s moving a lot. I don’t think it’s done moving.”

Lol, so they laid the concrete right on the mud...

to 'save money'.
mthouseman
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August 08, 2014
was the decision to save the 510k by not placing the right substrate to begin with, made by the district, or solely by the contractor....
mhousian
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August 08, 2014
ADA is a joke. The shift in concrete is negligible to the eye and can only be seen on a digital level? That's about as absurd as having two-dozen empty handicapped parking spots at a department store. And yet it's going to cost the taxpayers $140,000. No wonder it costs an arm and a leg to get anything done in this country nowadays.
nickiph
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August 08, 2014
I'm guessing you do not have a person in your family that is disabled, because if you did you would not have said what you did. I have a disabled child and there have been many times when we have went to the store or where ever and there have been no parking spaces because someone that is NOT disabled at all is parked in a disabled parking spot, because they are to freaking lazy to walk the extra steps. Grow the hell up. I pay taxes and work hard for my money just like I'm assuming you do. Have you ever tried to push a wheelchair on an uneven surface? It isn't easy
tracyresdnt
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August 08, 2014
Nickiph, even in your opinion I can't imagine that this is worth $160k of 'your' tax dollars
mhousian
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August 17, 2014
First of all nickiph, you do not know my family. This isn't all about you. As for parking spaces, most of the time I see tons of empty handicapped spots while the rest of the lot is full...no wonder someone who isn't truly handicapped might be tempted to take one of the only empty spots available. And if the handicapped spots are taken by people who aren't truly handicapped, then I would blame the ADA for making it too easy for anyone who so much as has a hangnail to get a handicapped placard/license plate. And yes, I don't need a lecture about uneven surfaces, but when we're talking about being out of tolerance by an amount that only an electronic device can see, you're really going to notice the difference when pushing? Really???
tracyresdnt
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August 08, 2014
I know who is responsible. The taxpayers. They're the only one who are ever actually held responsible for anything government does.


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