September 2010

LHU BUILDING UPDATE
September 25th 2010

Dear Parents, Teachers, Staff, and Students:

I hope you are cheering observing the tremendous building progress as you walk around campus daily. We really are making great strides in our campus expansion. However as with any construction project we also have our fair share of challenges.

The fields are in full use since school started. The sod was laid a month prior to the start of school and has taken root well. Our irrigation system has been a blessing in the hot weather and helped keep the fields green. I have had many students tell me how much they love playing on a ‘real” field with grass.

We received construction plan approval for roadway improvements on Aug-31 from the Town of Morrisville. We also received the roadway water and sewer permits from the Town of Cary on Sept-9. Co-ordination with the utility companies (PSNC, Progress Energy, AT&T, etc.) to relocate their lines has been completed and grading for the extra turn lane has been completed. Barnhill have begun paving of the turn lane into the upper elementary parking lot.

The classroom building has been progressing well. The last month has been focused on installation of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. Our independent commissioning agent (AEI Services) has been actively involved on site completing required inspections to ensure proper installation, start-up, and performance of the building systems. Installation of the carpet and tile is planned in the next week. We are still targeting completion of the building in mid-October.

Work on the Sport Court has also been progressing well but unfortunately had to be paused earlier this week. After grading of the site the concrete pier foundations were poured and the anchor rods installed. Last week there was some rotational displacement when the glulam framing was erected. Glulam is a glued laminated timber which is a stress-rated engineered wood product. The resulting forces transferred to the base of the columns when the structure was plumbed causing cracking of the concrete piers. The construction team immediately stopped work for an inspection by structural engineers Stroud, Pence & Associates. The inspection confirmed that the site itself is faultless and the design of the structure is sound. Complete due diligence is being performed to remediate the construction issue. The glulam structure has been dis-assembled and the existing concrete piers have already been fully removed. The piers will be re-inspected by Stroud Pence before new concrete is re-poured. New cast-iron anchor rods will be provided and the glulam structure will not be erected until the concrete has been tested for the required compressive strength. Stroud Pence will remain on site inspecting every step of the construction process. While it is unfortunate that this was encountered the Sport Court will be completed exactly to design and meet all structural standards as we originally planned.

Completion of the Sport Court will now lag slightly behind the completion of the classroom building. We are in discussion with the Town of Morrisville to gain approval for occupancy of the classroom building prior to the sport court – as they were to originally receive the same occupancy certificate.

Fortunately we have an extremely persistent team that includes Barnhill Construction, Moseley Architects and CLH Design and their sub-contractors who are committed to the school project and dedicated to a quality campus expansion.

My special thanks to our Director Bill Zajic who has been working closely with the construction crew on campus while continuing to ensure the daily operational needs of the school and attention to staff and students are met.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. And be sure to visit our website with the photo gallery http://
www.sterlingmontessori.org/?p=971 that captures the campus expansion progress.

Regards,

Sharmila Bristol
President, LHU Board