Milner Recreation Center’s renovation and expansion project has been rocked with issues, but one will remain after completion.
The city Ad Hoc Committee met for what could have one of its last meetings on Thursday. This session was to consider a letter from HFR Design that released the company from future liability pertaining to floor transitions in the gymnasium’s entryways that do not match original design plans.
Specifically, inclines were added due to the gym floor being lower than the doorways. HFR’s original design plans called for those to be even for a smooth transition.
“It’s interesting to the extent that it says the current configuration does not meet the intent of the code-compliant design,” said city attorney Tim Pirtle. “I’m informed the fire marshal will clear ‘as is’ without some remedial action. HFR is disclaiming any liability for leaving it the way it is. Is that a fair statement?”
City administrator Nolan Ming replied, “Absolutely.”
“I’m not bothered by it if the fire marshal isn’t bothered by it,” said Pirtle. “I guess I am bothered by the fact the contractor didn’t do it the way they were supposed to do it, but that’s a different issue probably for a different day.”
Alderman Rachel Kirby voiced hesitancy for HFR “covering itself legally” and that being a cause for concern.
As read by Pirtle, the letter stated, “Because the owner has chosen to accept the non-conforming transitions as is, please be advised that the owner accepts the future costs of remedying and any other liability arising from acceptance of this non-conforming work at its own risk.” said Pirtle. “Frankly, I don’t know if this dodges any silver bullet that may be fired in the future as it relates to their design, but that’s clearly meant to shift the responsibility to us.”
Ad Hoc Committee members voted to accept HFR Design’s letter. The committee was established by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen as a special committee assigned to review any change orders or issues associated with the project. Once the project is complete, the committee will likely be disbanded.