Repairs to new Wake Forest town hall about 40 percent finished.
By David Leone
WAKE FOREST — Visitors to town hall in the past few weeks can’t help but notice the crews on telescoping scaffolding working on the building’s exterior walls.
They’re contractors with Exterior Diagnostic Services (EDS), of Apex, specialists brought in to repair the flashing around the windows that frequently causes the three-year-old structure to leak in heavy rains.
The repairs are estimated to cost just under $500,000, all which the town hopes to recover from Heaton Construction, the primary contractor for the $12 million town hall.
“We’re looking to recover that from the bonding company, [which] guarantees performance. The contractor failed to perform,” said Wake Forest Deputy Town Manager Roe O’Donnell.
After the town hall was completed in mid-2010, people on various floors noticed water leaking in during heavy rains or rainy days with driving winds, said O’Donnell.
That mostly occurred around the windows, leaving small puddles of water on the windowsills on most of the levels, without flooding. One of the rooms where leaks were seen most frequently was O’Donnell’s own office, though it varied enough that it was unclear how many windows needed fixing.
Charles George, lead attorney with Wyrick Robbins in Raleigh, the town’s law firm, has ongoing litigation with Heaton to recoup the costs of those repairs. There were also some issues with foundation and roof leaks, though they weren’t as serious as the window problems.
EDS is about 40 percent through the repairs. Some wet days and icy weather has complicated the work, which is estimated to be completed in April.
“In every single window the glass has to come out. Most of that has been done,” O’Donnell said.
EDS is also mostly finished with putting rain deflectors in the window frames and is now working on masonry and adding through-wall flashing, which he said wasn’t properly completed by the original contractor.
EDS was highly recommended as a diagnostic and repair company, O’Donnell said. Noting they’re not a building contractor, he added, “They’re probably doing a better job than original specifications called for.”
“The proof of the pudding is the south side is finished and I haven’t had any leaks,” said a pleased O’Donnell.