The Glen Ellyn Park District has spent roughly $950,000 so far to investigate and fix a leaking roof at its recreation center and to pursue litigation to recoup those costs from firms involved in the original installation.
The park board approved its fourth and final payment last week to Solaris Roofing Solutions, hired in April 2012 to attach a single-layer insulated membrane to the original roof at the Ackerman Sports and Fitness Center. In total, the district paid the firm $715,137.50 to repair the roof, or about 5 percent more than the original contract due to change orders.
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Roof cost summaryHere's a summary of Glen Ellyn Park District's costs to repair a leaky roof at its Ackerman Sports and Fitness Center.
Roof repair construction -- Solaris Roofing Solutions:
$305,000 Roofing materials
$220,000 Roofing installation
$40,000 Sheet metal fabrication/installation
$50,000 Mechanical work
$39,000 Electrical work (heat trace system)
$7,725 Masonry repairs
$11,000 Inferred scan/batt insulation repair
$6,400 Roof warranty
$36,012.50 Change orders (insulation for four unexposed walls)
Temporary roof repair work (winter 2011) -- L. Marshall Roofing and Sheet Metal: $10,540
Roofing consultation work -- Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.: About $100,000 to date -- Initial investigation into cause of roof leaks, suggest solution, design construction drawings, prepare bid documents, review bids and oversee construction.
Litigation costs -- Tressler LLP: About $125,000 to date
Total: About $950,000
Source: Daily Herald reporting, Glen Ellyn Park District
The work was necessary because the roof of the $11.2 million, 88,000-square-foot rec center began leaking almost from the moment the facility opened in January 2010.
What is likely to continue for the foreseeable future -- park district attorneys have indicated it could be years -- is litigation related to the leaks.
Until late last year, a system of buckets, tarps and flexible piping was in place to contain about 20 leaks throughout the two-story structure. The system was dismantled shortly after the roof repairs were completed last September, and since then, there's been no sign of leaks, said Dave Harris, the park district's executive director.
"It's proven to be an outstanding fix," Harris said. "There's been no water penetration during those torrential downpours of a week ago. And with a fairly significant snowstorm and a melting process, we have had no sign of any water infiltration."
The change orders added to the Solaris contract were for installation of insulation behind four parapet walls that were originally enclosed. Until the walls were exposed, it was unknown if they would need insulation, Harris said.
The district also has paid its roofing consultant, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, about $100,000 since the firm was hired to perform the initial investigation into the cause of the leaks and recommend solutions. In June 2011, the firm began preparation of supplemental design and bid documents for the roof repairs, collected bids, and oversaw construction after Solaris was hired last April.
The consultant's work is essentially complete after performing final inspections this week, Harris said.
"They'll give us the project manual and they will be done," he said.
The litigation is not done.
The construction firm hired to build Ackerman, T.A. Bowman Constructors, was the first to file suit in 2011, claiming the park district didn't give its crews the opportunity to correct the leaks. The district followed with a countersuit against Bowman, and later amended its complaint to include the project construction manager, Professional Building Services; building designer Ollman Ernest Architects; and Employers Mutual Casualty Co., which issued a performance bond on behalf of Bowman.
Park officials have said those parties are liable for the roof leaks and resulting damages and they're looking to recover funds spent to make repairs.
Harris said now that the final payment for repairs has been made, the district has a better idea of how much in total it is seeking to recover through litigation.
"It gives us kind of a threshold or target," he said.
Harris said Bowman recently filed suit against two of its subcontractors -- the firm that installed the roof and the firm that provided the roofing material.
The original DuPage County circuit court judge in the case, Dorothy French, recused herself, and a new judge is being assigned, Harris said.
The next court date is April 17.
The district has spent about $125,000 on legal fees related to the lawsuit. Ralph Kooy of Tressler LLP has been representing the district in the case. He is a trial attorney who primarily practices commercial litigation with an emphasis on construction litigation including surety, according to the law firm's website.
The park district originally budgeted $1.2 million of capital reserve funds for roof repairs, per the recommendation of the roofing consultant.
So to come in under budget, Harris said, "we feel as good as you can be in this situation."