Thursday, June 14, 2012


TENNIS FACILITY AIMS FOR AUGUST OPENING

BY LAVERNE STEWART
  
STEWART.LAVERNE@DAILYGLEANER.COM
   14  JUNE 2012

The Capital Region Community Tennis Centre is expected to open in early August, says volunteer project director David Clark, after a series of delays meant it had to push back the planned opening from late July.

“We are really looking forward to getting our community tennis centre opened,” Clark said.

There are more than 10 contractors working on various aspects of the construction. All of the construction phases happen sequentially, Clark said, so when one contractor is delayed it means other contractors will face delays as well.

A major construction delay happened April 12 when WorksafeNB issued a stop-work order to Prospect Building Contractors 2004 Ltd. after one of its workers fell through the roof and landed on the floor, 13 metres (40 feet) below.

In its investigation, WorksafeNB concluded the worker, a 54-year-old man, wasn’t wearing a safety harness that would have prevented that fall.

WorksafeNB regional director Melody Mladineo said just before the man fell, he’d been installing steel sheet roofing and stepped on the end joint before it was secured. The steel sheet bent and he fell through.

The man’s injuries to his ankle, leg and pelvis were described by WorksafeNB as serious.

In his legal career, Clark said, he works on construction teams throughout North America. Any time a worker comes to work and doesn’t go home that day because of an injury, he said, is a bad day.

“We are not pleased that this happened on our project ... We very much monitored the condition of the worker and I understand he’s going to make a complete recovery, which we are very thankful for.”

The stop-work order against Prospect Building Contractors 2004 Ltd. continued until WorksafeNB carried out its investigation. On May 28, the stop-work order was lifted after WorksafeNB was satisfied the company had proven fall-prevention equipment is now being used by its workers.

“We are disappointed that this contractor has not moved ahead a little faster, but we have had excellent co-operation from the other contractors,” Clark said. “I am told this contractor is very much on side to finish their part of the work within the next week or so.”

All of the contractors involved in this project, he said, have been accommodating about this delay.

“They could have probably made claims against our organization, and they chose not to because we have worked corroboratively with them and they see us as a non-profit community organization that (is) trying to do something good for the community.”

The stop-work order, Clark said, had a limited impact on other work because it involved a small area of the roof. While that stop-work order was in place, contractors working on other parts of the building were able to go ahead with their work.

During that time, the mechanical system that connects with the geothermal heating plant at the Grant-Harvey Complex was installed. Paving was applied to the interior of the building last week, the offices and viewing area of the facility are 75 per cent complete, and it’s expected the building will be fully enclosed within the next week and a half, he said.

There have been other delays, too. The construction company responsible for the building’s exterior had crews working on other sites around the province. It’s now concentrating its efforts on the tennis centre site and is pushing to complete the work.

“Last week you will have noticed one of the walls along the side was completed,” Clark said. “As we speak today, they would be working on the roof of the facility.”

This building has a high level of insulation because of the geothermal system. No work can be done on the roof if there is any moisture in the air. Because of the nature of the panels being installed, which are sensitive to wind, there are also restrictions when people can work on the roof, he said.

“The weather looks like it’s going to co-operate for the next seven to 10 days.”

The Capital Region Tennis Association, he said, isn’t considering financial penalties against contractors for not completing the project on time.

“It’s my view that if we can do this without having to resort to any form of sanction against anyone, it’s the best solution for the project and for the community,” he said. “Will I say never? No ... There is really no upside to (penalties) unless it gets to a point that we are looking at a very long delay. I just don’t see that in the cards.”

Senior representatives of Tennis Canada visited the site last weekend to see the construction progress. Fundraising efforts are continuing to come up with the final $300,000 needed to complete this $2.4-million facility.

Clark said the association is grateful the city has provided it with a land lease at no cost, as well as the provision of in-kind support. Without all of this, he said, it would have cost somewhere between $3 million and $4 million.

“The financial situation we find ourselves in is awesome and we are confident we are going to close our last $300,000 in our fundraising,” Clark said.

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