Written by Michael Scro, email@example.com Wednesday, 29 January 2014 00:00
Frederick W. Seeba of BBS Architects & Engineers recently delivered an update to the Garden City Board of Education regarding the school district’s $36.5 million investment bond for renovations and construction.
The investment was approved back in 2009, and according to Seeba, five of six contractors have completed their work, with the exception of Farmingdale-based Thermo Tech Combustion Inc.
According to Seeba, Thermo Tech completed all their items, however there were “a handful of items” BBS Architects & Engineers is not accepting, and wants them to go back to do additional work.
Most recently, the school district had 13 ventilators at the Stewart School freeze, resulting in BBS Architects & Engineers taking a second look at conditions in the district’s buildings and finding the additional work to be added to Thermo Tech’s punch list.
“We have sent Thermo Tech a letter, outlining all additional items found, asked for a schedule on when those items will be completed, however we have not received a response yet,” Seeba said.
Offering an explanation for the freezing ventilators, Seeba said some of the units that Thermo Tech installed “were not sealed tightly to the outside wall, allowing some of the outside air to come inside, go around the coiled compartment and cause freeze-ups in the end compartments.”
“Fortunately we only cracked one coil of Thermo Techs work, and the rest just thawed out once they started working again and heat returned to the building,” Seeba said.
The work needed to be done to rectify the situation was described by Seeba as “somewhat intrusive,” saying that Thermo Tech will have to possibly shut down heat in the entire building, disconnect piping and wiring, and weather permitting, may have to wait until February break or longer to begin.
“We would have to shut down heat in the entire building, unless we can isolate certain areas with zone valves - it will be a time consuming job,” Seeba said, who then offered a possible alternative strategy of removing outdoor air intakes and sealing from outside.
In the meantime, Seeba said that actions will be taken to prevent further freeze-ups, including implementing control sequence modifications and staying in communication with Con Edison Solutions, which the district entered into an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) with in 2011.
While Seeba referred to the news of five of six contractors completing their work as “good,” Garden City Board of Education President Barbara Trapasso spoke on behalf of the rest of the board saying, “we are not happy.”
“A statement was made last month that this work would be done by Jan. 3, now you’re talking about February and March—this should have been done last year,” Trapasso said, who Seeba sympathized and agreed with.
When asked why this work is being done following the freeze-ups, Seeba explained that a number of people reviewed the work, and said, “unfortunately, there is no way to tell that the unit is not sealed until you have a cold snap and you can stick your hand in and feel cold air blowing into the compartment.”
Seeba estimated that Thermo Tech installed 55 to 60 ventilators, which they will inspect every one, beginning with the 13 that froze at the Stewart School.
Estimating on the length of the job, Seeba said it depends on how Thermo Tech can prove to BBS Architects & Engineers that the units are sealed properly. Seeba also said that any costs for the extra expenditures that can be attributed directly to Thermo Tech will be issued.