Unity garage construction gears up as township revises work flow | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Unity garage construction gears up as township revises work flow

Jeff Himler
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Jeff Himler | Tribune-Review
Unity Township’s new public works garage is seen under construction on Thursday, July 18, 2019, near the township municipal building on Beatty County Road.
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Jeff Himler | Tribune-Review
Splintered trusses remain in place at the under-construction Unity Township public works garage Thursday, April 11, 2019, as investigators look for what caused them to fall earlier in the week.

Unity Township is moving forward with a new game plan for construction of its public works garage while officials await a revised timeline for completion of the delayed project.

Work on the building, which will replace one destroyed in a 2017 arson, came to a halt when 42 wooden roof trusses collapsed April 7-8. No one was hurt, but most work was stalled for weeks while insurance companies investigated.

Township engineer Dan Schmitt said Thursday the cause of the collapse still is being probed, but work is moving ahead with a new approach — installing the floor of the building before completing the roof overhead, a reversal of the original plan.

“Now that it’s summertime, they’re going to do the floor first,” Schmitt said. “They’re installing the radiant heat in the flooring. Once the floor is done, then they’ll bring the (replacement) trusses in and enclose the building.

“If weather permits, we might do the final floor pour next Thursday or Friday.”

The supervisors Thursday agreed to pay general contractor Walter Mucci Construction an additional $13,139. The township’s insurer, Cincinnati Insurance, which is footing the bill for the new garage, agreed to cover the extra cost after the parties ironed out gray areas in project specifications regarding the radiant heat, Schmitt said.

Meanwhile, Schmitt said, other project changes resulted in a $6,571 deduction from Mucci’s $1.7 million contract.

Schmitt said the contractor has ordered replacement roof trusses and has turned in the loss to its insurance company. That includes some trusses that weren’t installed but remained stacked outside while the collapse was investigated.

“(The stacked trusses) weren’t necessarily properly supported and they weren’t protected from the weather,” Schmitt said. “There was some concern that they were compromised while we were waiting to see what happened with the ones that collapsed. So we’re starting with all new trusses.”

Schmitt couldn’t project when the garage might be finished. He said the township is waiting for a revised work schedule from Mucci, which is coordinating the altered construction plan with subcontractors.

Some subcontractors are also busy with school construction projects now, Schmitt said.

“All these contractors anticipated starting in January and being done in May,” he said of the garage project. “They’re trying to coordinate all their schedules and come up with a new end date.”

The supervisors also approved a $95,500 contract with Mongiovi and Son of Robinson Township to install a mandated sprinkler system in the garage. Schmitt said the township requested a proposal from the plumbing contractor after two rounds of advertising failed to attract a bid.

“Not a lot of people do it,” he said of such installations.

Until the new garage is ready, township crews will continue to work out of rented space at two separate locations.

Cincinnati Insurance has offered a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to a conviction in the arson.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Westmoreland
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