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Wednesday, 01 February 2012 20:19

Sagging roof trusses on Waynesville fire station prompt lawsuit

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The town of Waynesville is suing a Hendersonville contractor for negligence in the construction of its new fire station on the outskirts of downtown.

In its complaint, the town alleges that Construction Logic’s work was defective and did not follow the planned specifications for the roof of the fire station.

“The suit is about fixing the roof and who is going to fix the roof,” said Town Manager Lee Galloway.

In early 2007, the town signed a $2.3 million contract with Construction Logic to build the Waynesville Fire Department’s headquarters.

“They were responsible for everything, the roof and the beams and the construction of the fire station,” Galloway said.

About a year after its completion when about 14 inches of snow fell in Waynesville, portions of the metal-paneled roof over the fire station’s equipment room began to sag.

Engineers found several flaws in the construction of the trusses, which hold the roof in place. More than 75 percent of the bolts connecting the trusses were loose, and a majority of the bolt holes at the top of each truss were reamed, according to court documents. All of the trusses were bent at least three-quarters of an inch; one was deflected as much as 2.75 inches, which could cause leaks or other structural problems.

The engineers who studied the roof declared that it is not a safety hazard. And, it has not leaked.

“But it needs to be remedied and fixed,” Galloway said. The cost of fixing such a critical part of the structure could reach up to $400,000, he said.

The town brought the defect to the Construction Logic’s attention in 2010, Galloway said.

“And, they have never fixed the roof,” he said. “They never indicated a willingness to fix the roof.”

Construction Logic failed to apply the proper standard of care to which all contractors must adhere, according to court documents.

The town has alleged charges of negligence, breach of contract and breach of warranties. Waynesville officials are seeking $30,000 in damages in addition to the cost of repairing the roof and bringing it into compliance with the original building plans.

The company, according to its website, has operations in Hendersonville and Asheville. Neither the company nor its lawyer Brad Stark of Asheville responded to several requests for comment.

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