10 Months Later, S2 Reports Incomplete

WINNSBORO – Two weeks after an approximately 50-foot portion of retaining wall collapsed around the new football field at Drawdy Park last January, County Council voted to hire an engineering firm to inspect other projects performed for the County by the firm responsible for the faulty wall. Nine months later, according to a draft document obtained last week by The Voice through a Freedom of Information Act request, very little, apparently, has been done.

According to the document from Goodwin, Mills and Cawood, Inc. of Greenville, S.C., signed by project manager Greg Edrington and stamped Sept. 17, engineers have, since Council’s vote on Jan. 27, performed preliminary inspections on five Fairfield County buildings, all either constructed from the ground up or significantly remodeled by S2 Engineering and Consulting. Those buildings include the Fairfield County Commerce Center, the Coroner’s building, the County Probation building, the Public Works building and the Voter Registration building.

Commerce Center

The centerpiece of the County’s new industrial park, the Center was constructed in 2011 of a pre-engineered metal frame with slab on grade foundation. According to the preliminary draft document, “visual inspection cannot confirm slab thickness, reinforcement, depth of turn down at slab edge or presence and sizes of footers.”

Potential Structural Deficiencies

“Based on construction photographs observed during inspection and exposure of free-formed concrete on exterior perimeter foundations, it appears that there are no spread footers present. Lack of foundations may render the structural stability inadequate per IBC (International Building Code) wind loading requirements. Further investigation is needed to confirm the presence of foundations.”

Potential Maintenance Deficiencies

  1. No sealant or caulking at sills are present under entrance doors or storefront.
  2. Window detailing does not provide drip ledge for head locations at windows, thus allowing moisture penetration over time.
  3. Water supply piping is not adequately protected against freezing. Additionally, condensation drain allows for standing water at foundation.
  4. Lack of gutters and downspouts allows staining at water table stone and potential moisture penetration at fascia and soffit.

Coroner’s Building

Constructed in approximately 2009 of metal frame with concrete slab on grade foundation. “Construction photographs provided by the owner for this building confirm that no footers are present under this building,” the preliminary report states. “Slab thickness, reinforcement or depth of turn down at slab edge cannot be confirmed.”

Potential Maintenance Deficiencies

  1. Insufficient drainage at perimeter of building allows for standing water, which could lead to settlement issues.
  2. Detailing at existing window is inadequate for moisture penetration left of front door.
  3. Condensation drain is not properly routed on the exterior of the building to prevent metal panel corrosion.

Probation Building

Constructed in approximately 2010 of pre-engineered metal frame with concrete slab on grade foundation. “Visual inspection cannot confirm slab thickness, reinforcement, depth of turn down at slab edge or presence and sizes of footers.”

Potential Maintenance Deficiencies

  1. Insufficient drainage at perimeter of building allows for standing water, which could lead to settlement issues.
  2. Exterior landing too low and walkway too high at front door, which allows for standing water and moisture penetration to the interior.

Public Works

Constructed in approximately 2010 of pre-engineered metal frame with concrete slab on grade foundation. “Visual inspection cannot confirm slab thickness, reinforcement, depth of turn down at slab edge or presence and sizes of footers.”

Potential Structural Deficiencies

  1. Incorrect purlin rollover bracing is present in interior back room.

Potential Maintenance Deficiencies

  1. Insufficient drainage at perimeter of building allows for standing water, which could lead to settlement issues.

Voter Registration

Existing building modified by S2 for current use. “There are no anticipated structural issues with this structure,” the preliminary draft report states.

Information Not Available

“Building supplier information was not available for this structure, therefore, it was not possible to determine building framing adequacy for the required code loadings. Should building supplier information become available, further investigation can confirm framing adequacy.”

This notation was repeated over and over throughout the preliminary draft report for each of the buildings inspected. For the Coroner’s building, the Probation building and the Public Works building, an additional notation states “Foundation information was not available for this structure, therefore it was not possible to determine foundation adequacy.”

Inspections Ongoing

Milton Pope, Fairfield County’s interim Administrator, told The Voice this week that the document represented only a preliminary, initial inspection of the properties and said additional inspections would take place.

Between December 2009 and September 2013, the County spent more than $8.76 million with S2 on projects that include the above listed in the draft report, as well as including the Drawdy Park football field and retaining wall, improvements to the HON Building and mold removal at the Courthouse. In February, the S.C. Law Enforcement Division (SLED) opened an investigation into the County’s procurement practices, focusing specifically, sources told The Voice, on the County’s relationship with S2, a firm owned and operated by Sam Savage. While records indicate that most, if not all, of these projects were not put out for bid, Pope said during Council’s Feb. 10 meeting that S2 was one of several firms on a list of firms approved for County work by then Administrator Phil Hinely. Since Pope’s arrival as Interim last summer, the County has returned to a more conventional procurement process, putting projects and purchases out for bid in accordance with County policy.

Speak Your Mind

*