Foundation problems at Centennial Park Clubhouse, ampitheater under scrutiny

2012-10-13T21:00:00Z 2012-10-14T23:45:03Z Foundation problems at Centennial Park Clubhouse, ampitheater under scrutinyLu Ann Franklin Times Correspondent
October 13, 2012 9:00 pm  • 

MUNSTER | Settling, shifting and cracking of the Centennial Park Clubhouse and performing stage foundations will be analyzed by a five-member technical committee of engineering experts approved Monday by the Munster Town Council.

There isn’t any danger for people using these structures, said Joseph Nordman, of South Holland-based Robinson Engineering Ltd., who presented information on the project and the committee to the Town Council.

However, it’s in the town’s best interests to determine the cause and cure for the condition and rectify it, he said.

When Larson-Danielson Construction Inc., of LaPorte, built the clubhouse and amphitheater, large amounts of soil were used to backfill the foundation, Town Manager Tom DeGiulio stated in a memo to council members. DeGiulio was attending a meeting in Arizona.

“Because of the large amounts of fill used in the two areas, there has been some movement that requires stabilization,” he said in the memo. “We will select a contractor based on their method (of stabilization).”

The technical committee will analyze problems, screen select contractors with expertise in foundation stabilization and make a recommendation to the Town Council.

Some of the methods offered by contractors may be proprietary, Nordman said.

Munster is using the Indiana Design and Build Statute to undertake the project.

The statute calls for a technical committee of at least three people, Nordman said. One must be a town employee, one a professional engineer and one either a contractor or an architect.

“We talked with the contractors (with this kind of expertise), and said they would like to submit a proposal, so they couldn’t be on the committee,” Nordman said.

Munster Town Engineer James Mandon will represent the municipality. The two other required committee positions will be filled by Chris King, a structural engineer and president of Robinson Engineering Ltd., and Roger McCarron, an architect, geotechnical expert and principal of PMA Inc. in Chicago.

Two professors will complete the committee. Richard Finno is a professor of engineering at Northwestern University, and Rodrigo Salgado is a geotechnical engineer and professor of engineering at Purdue University in West Lafayette.

The cost of the foundation stabilization isn’t yet known, Council President David Nellans said.

However, on Monday the Town Council also approved the refinancing of mortgage bonds issued by the town in 2006 that could bring in $900,000 to $1.2 million to fund this project.

Town officials have been gathering engineering data for several years, DeGiulio said in his memo.

The technical committee will analyze that data starting Monday and meet for the first time Nov. 15. Another set of data points will be gathered next spring.

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