Civic Center deck needs replacing
Published 1:19 am Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Preliminary report finds multiple code violations
Washington’s City Council learned at its July 18 meeting that there’s no question the Washington Civic Center deck is in dire need of replacement.
An inspection performed by Wayne Harrell, the city’s chief building official, confirms that. Harrell’s inspection and subsequent report on the decking came after Lynn Lewis, director of the Washington Tourism Development Authority, asked Harrell to evaluate the Civic Center’s deck.
Lewis is seeking to replace the deck because of its poor condition.
The inspection report lists several common building code violations. They include:
- No protection against decay;
- Too few or inadequate fasteners;
- Decking material not secure;
- Decking material unlevel;
- Insufficient support and anchoring;
- Missing or noncompliant guardrails, handrails;
- Profile of steps incorrect;
- Accessible ramps and landings inadequate;
- Accessory items insufficient.
Portions of the existing deck were built in the 1970s.
“During the last 30 years the deck has not been adequately maintained and is current in a state of disrepair,” reads the report.
After the report was presented, the council took no action regarding the deck. That’s likely to come later once it has more information about the matter.
John Rodman, director of the city’s Planning and Development Department, said the city has no estimate on the cost of replacing the deck. Such an estimate would come after a more-detailed inspection of the deck is made, he noted.
“We only did a walk-through inspection,” Rodman said Monday, adding the report does not include information that would be obtained through a thorough, more-technically exhaustive inspection.
The results of the less-formal inspection let the council and other city officials know there are problems with the Civic Center’s deck, Rodman said.
“We wanted to make sure they understand the existing deck had some existing code violations,” Rodman said. “Over time, the code has changed, resulting in some of those violations.”
Mayor Archie Jennings said he expects the council to revisit the deck issue soon and develop a plan that addresses immediate needs and long-term needs.
“We already had some money in the budget to deal with what we thought was the scope of the problem,” Jennings said Monday, adding that replacing the deck likely would be done in phases, with money for the project allocated over several upcoming budgets.
Harrell’s report indicates the scope of the problem is greater than first thought, Jennings said.
“If the deck were built today, it would be built to higher standards,” Jennings said, noting the deck met existing codes when it was built.
The city provides WTDA a $50,000 subsidy each year to operate the Civic Center. Earlier this year, WTDA sought to have that subsidy increased by $15,000. The council would not go along with that request. It decided to continue the policy of providing additional funding for additional maintenance or other needs at the Civic Center on a case-by-case basis.