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Change orders increase cost of Strongsville locker-room project

January 30, 2019

Change orders increase cost of Strongsville locker-room project

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio -- The amount the city will pay one contractor for locker-room renovations at the Walter F. Ehrnfelt Recreation & Senior Center has risen by 11 percent.

Under its original contract with the Strongsville firm RFC Contracting Inc., the city was to pay $470,000 to renovate four locker rooms at the recreation center. But during a December meeting, City Council approved seven change orders, totaling $52,563 in additional costs, for the job.

Council’s approval apparently came after change order-related work was finished. Last month, Strongsville Building Commissioner Tony Biondillo told cleveland.com that the locker-room renovations were completed over Thanksgiving weekend.

At the December meeting, Councilwoman Ann Roff said the change orders were for “a significant amount” and that “the public has questions about this,” according to meeting minutes.

However, Roff didn’t elaborate, and nothing more was said about the project or the change orders at the December meeting. Roff didn’t return emails and phone calls seeking comment.

Meanwhile, Biondillo said he was unable to provide details about the seven change orders due to possible future litigation between the city and the original locker-room contractor, Alabasi Construction Inc. in Cleveland. Alabasi never completed the locker-room project, making it necessary for the city to hire two other firms -- RFC and Colabianchi Constriction Inc. in Strongsville -- to finish the job.

The contracts with Alabasi and Colabianchi were for $662,750 and $47,885, respectively, for a total of about $1.2 million in contracts among the three firms. However, the city has paid Alabasi only $184,802 and has no intention of making additional payments, Law Director Neal Jamison has said.

The dispute with Alabasi may end up in arbitration or court. The city has hired the Cleveland law firm McCarthy, Lebit, Cystal & Liffman Co. LPA to help settle the matter.

Here is a rundown of RFC Contracting’s seven change orders, as spelled out in documents the firm submitted to the city in August, September and November. The documents don’t state why the additional work was necessary or why it wasn’t included in the original contract.

Change order 1: Four new ceiling speakers in the men’s and women’s first-floor locker rooms. Cost: $3,303.

Change order 2: New cement backer board to support tile in the men’s and women’s first-floor locker rooms. Cost: $1,718.

Changer order 3: Four new floor drains in the women’s first-floor locker rooms. Cost: $2,539.

Change order 4: Reroute of a drain to avoid a steel beam in the women’s first-floor locker room. Cost: $1,151.

Change order 5: Waterproofing membrane, a thin layer of waterproof material, to counteract high moisture in the women’s locker room. Cost: $6,846.

Changer order 6: Rework floor pitch to drain women’s locker room properly. Cost: $34,362.

Changer order 7: Seven new light fixtures, to replace fixtures that had previously been incorrectly specified, and wiremold, a plastic mold containing wires attached to the wall, in the women’s locker room. Cost: $2,644.

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