“Some of this I tried to give you worst case,” said Rogers who visited the site on several different occasions since July accompanied by mechanical and electrical engineers and a demolitions expert.
Rogers, primary of Rogers Architecture, Inc., of St. James, presented an 11-page feasibility report she prepared to Owensville aldermen and a group of residents and business owners numbering 16.
“In my opinion,” wrote Rogers, “this building is structurally sound, but must be upgraded and modernized in all areas to be occupied today. The building mechanical and electrical systems, kitchen, and rest rooms must all be upgraded. These items detailed allow for much needed improvements for egress, safety, energy efficiencyand building functions for the occupants.”
She concluded her report noting additional costs for added or improved parking, separate entrances for individual tenant spaces or exterior facade redesign were not included.
Rogers’ study identified a total of $2,785,550 in estimated costs on “necessary upgrades” and another $821,000 in “optional upgrades” including work to the kitchen ($35,000) and replacement of suspended ceiling ($180,000).
Rogers also listed $236,771 in costs associated with architectural and engineering design and inspection services associated with a project of this scope should the city take on a complete overhaul of the entire building.
Her estimate for the necessary improvements with professional fees came to $3,022,321.75. An additional $890,785 in costs for suggest improvements was listed for a total of $3,913,106.
City Administrator John Tracy told The Republican he would add a 20-percent contingency to any and all remodeling or construction costs associated with a building of this age and design.
Rogers also listed costs associated with demolition to the site and broke those costs down into four separate sections. Her cost estimates did not include any figures for sale of salvaged materials. The footprint of the building includes 58,630 square feet of space under roof.
Demolition cost estimates by area of the building were:
• Area No. 1: $32,5000 (classroom addition on south end).
• Area No. 2: $24,600 (library wing and office complex).
• Area No. 3: $35,400 (north-south main hallway including cafeteria and converted classrooms/former vo-ag area shop area).
• Area No. 4: $90,000 (gymnasium, music classroom and locker rooms).
She estimated the cost to remove asbestos from flooring materials and pipes would total $96,000 with $75,000 of that being used to remove floor tiles and mastic (glue) from that era which typically contains asbestos.
Rogers strongly suggested that if the city attempts to use the facility it should consider removing all existing tile and carpeting. An assessment by contractors she consulted with indicated that 75 percent of all tile in the building is “assumed” to contain asbestos, especially those 9-inch by 9-inch tiles.
She noted a report conducted on behalf of the school district found tiles of his nature “possible for asbestos” in at least 37 different rooms in the building. “The school’s report called it all possible for asbestos,” said Rogers.
Figuring that any proposed remodeling or renovation work would disturb existing tiles and flooring materials, her report indicated the city could expect to spend up to $75,000 for asbestos removal costs for tiles, $22,750 to remove other flooring materials and up to $180,000 to replace all flooring and cove base.
“The two asbestos items must be done first,” she said, before any renovations are even considered.
Asked by an alderman for an opinion on this aspect of the project, she commented, “If you’re going to do part of it, you might as well do the whole thing.”
The city paid Rogers $5,600 for her report.
Rogers told aldermen that in a “best case” scenario, the city could expect to spend “less than a million” to “move in” after making mechanical repairs.
Jim Decker and Don Lenauer, owners of the building and grounds, both expressed concerns that Rogers’ report and her
“rough numbers” might scare the city away from accepting their offer. Lenauer suggested her report should have included break-downs for upgrading sections of the building as funds were available.
“Whose going to dissect this at that table?” Lenauer asked, referring to the Board of Aldermen.
Rogers, whose scope of examination was an overview condition report of the building, said without the board knowing exactly what the future use of the building might be, her task was to give them “rough numbers” to help them clarify what their final decision might be for the site.
“We don’t know what we’re doing so it has to be rough numbers,” said Rogers.
“The big numbers will scare the bejesus out of everybody,” said Decker noting the $3.1 to $3.9 million cost estimates.
Ron Miller, alderman in Ward 1, addressed Lenauer’s concerns telling him this report was the beginning step” for the board. They must now determine if the city would be served by accepting their offer and making a “full use or partial use” of the building — or having the entire structure demolished.
“I thought it was a great first step,” Miller added.
During her presentation, Rogers briefly went over each area of concern.
“Every room you go into has some leaks,” she told the board.
“The brick, for the most part, is in good shape,” she said. Her report noted approximately 15 percent of the structure would require tuck-pointing repairs at an estimated cost of $42,500.
Although some areas of the building had new windows installed, the openings were not re-framed and are a source of loss of heating and cooling energy. She estimated re-framing the openings at a cost of $84,000.
“The biggest problem I see with the building is the lack of insulation,” said Rogers. “One of your biggest costs for a building like this is heating and cooling.”
Cost estimates for a new roof and additional insulation was estimated at $300,000. “The roof is definitely aged,” she said.
If the building was to be used for community gatherings of 300 people or more, the city may need to install fire walls and a fire suppression system using sprinklers. Cost estimates were listed at $210,000.
Existing interior wood doors would also need to be replaced with metal ones rated at “20-minutes” for fire protection. Cost estimates were listed at $112,300.
All toilet facilities fail to meet current Americans With Disability standards and would require upgrades on fixtures and extensive remodeling to meet accessibility needs. Costs were estimated at $34,000.
Costs for heating, ventilating and cooling upgrades throughout the building were listed a $1 million. Costs of installing either a water source heat pump system or a variable refrigerant volume (VRV) system were quoted at an estimate of $18 per square foot.
Electrical upgrades throughout the building would cost an estimated $600,0000, she noted.
Aldermen had planned to cancel their scheduled second meeting of the month on Monday, Dec. 17. However, they elected to have a workshop on that date which will begin at 6:30 p.m. to discuss this issue further. The workshop is open to the public and the only topic will be discussion on the building offer. In this type of meeting, no final decisions will be made. Formal action would need to be taken in the board’s first regularly scheduled meeting in January.
“You’ve got a lot on your plate. I understand that,” said Lenauer addressing the Board of Aldermen near the end of the 40-minute discussion. And, to Rogers, Lenauer added, “ma’am, I’m not trying to be antagonistic.”
Earlier in the meeting Lenauer had asked Rogers to define the scope of her report in greater detail and asked if it broke down costs for doing work in small sections. It did not. “Very good report and we thank you,” added Decker.
(For another look at this issue, see “Decisions, decisions” on page 2).
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