Unexpected problems slow building renovation


POSTED: Thursday, June 11, 2009

Question: Work on the renovation of the Mission Memorial Building near City Hall has been virtually non-existent for months. (Or is it years?) What's the story?

Answer: The now-nearly $5.9 million project to renovate and restore the historic building is a story of change orders and “;unforeseen”; problems.

Work has resumed after the latest two-month delay and the completion date has been pushed back to December.

We explained problems that plagued the project last year—archives.starbulletin.com/2008/05/26/ news/kokualine.html—when the targeted completion date was July 2008.

At that time, the unforeseen structural problem and a required switch in roofing material resulted in five change orders and added $98,894 to the initial $5.3 million cost to the project.

This time around, major changes have added another $460,000 to the cost, said Craig Nishimura, who took over earlier this year as director of the city Department of Planning and Permitting.

Many of the changes are still resulting from unforeseen conditions, he said.

Current work involves redoing restrooms and piping on the first floor and providing an additional restroom on the second floor; redoing major sections of the walkway around the building; completing additional structural work; providing revisions to the air conditioning system; and providing new interior and exterior doors.

“;Because it's an old building, (it) seems like everything needs to be replaced and/or brought up to code,”; Nishimura said.

Installing the air conditioning system, for instance, “;presents many challenges in clearing other utilities and structural members (supports),”; he said. “;Changes in the restrooms require all new piping and rerouting of pipes.”;

Asked if the contractor was responsible for any of the added costs, Nishimura said, “;It isn't any fault of the contractor that these changes are required.”;

Because the building is so old, he said, it's just difficult to build new elements into the building.

The Mission Memorial Building, with its classic eight pillars, will be used for general office space when completed. It, and the adjacent Mission Memorial Auditorium, which was built in 1916 and renovated in 2004, were designed by H.L. Kerr.

Question: I am doing work on my driveway by myself. No contractor is involved. How do I dispose of the old asphalt?

Answer: You cannot leave any construction material curbside for bulky item pickup.

But homeowners can take debris to the city's Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill near the Kahe Point power plant under these conditions:

» Must be residential material.

» The householder must transport it directly to the landfill and is allowed to make only two trips in one day (7 a.m.-6 p.m. daily).

» The vehicle transporting the material must be no larger than a small pickup truck.

If the vehicle is larger than a small pickup, it will be diverted to the commercial PVT Landfill in Nanakuli, which accepts construction debris from contractors.

For more information, call the Waimanalo Gulch landfill at 668-2985 or go to http://www.opala.org/solid_waste/ Drop_off_Centers_for_Refuse.html#waimglch. The landfill is located at 92-460 Farrington Highway.