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Leaking roof another problem in $46 million GHS Performing Arts Center

December 17, 2018

GREENWICH — The Greenwich High School Performing Arts Center has had water problems that predate the pipe coupling that broke last Wednesday, flooding the $46 million building and shuttering it for nearly two months.

One of the skylights in the three-year-old building has leaked over the last year, Building Committee Chair Joe Ross said Monday.

Building officials first noticed the leak more than a year ago, and Silktown Roofing, a contractor based in Manchester, Conn., last repaired the skylight in April, Ross said.

The repair did not completely cure the problem, since the leak started up again after the heavy rains this weekend, Ross said.

“They tried to do a permanent fix, but it didn’t work,” Ross said. “It was just a question of, did they repair it correctly?

Silktown Roofing has paid for past repairs and will pay for upcoming repairs, since the skylight — one of many along the auditorium’s galleria — is under a warranty, Ross said. He estimates the warranty will last five years.

“When you do a big project, it’s not unusual to have different problems as you go along,” Ross said. “Roofing is a major concern on all projects: That’s why you buy the guarantee and the warranty, so the contractor has to come back and fix it.”

Maintenance of the performing arts center is the responsibility of the school board, Ross said, although his committee is still overseeing some finishing touches on the project and owes reports to the Representative Town Meeting and the state of Connnecticut.

Meantime, however, the committee will assist the BOE, as it did after a pipe coupling broke on Wednesday, by providing the school board with contacts for the manufacturer, engineer and contractor associated with the part.

“If we can help them in any way, we try,” Ross said. “It’s really up to the BOE that operates and maintains the building to take the action as far as guarantees or warranties.”

School board and district officials were not immediately available for comment Monday.

On Wednesday night, a vibrating isolator, a part that holds two pipes together and muffles the sound of vibrations, broke in the performing center, and caused the building to flood.

The back of the performance center sustained damage, and the entrance is blocked for repairs. Facilities staff is determining the extent of the damage and starting to work with contractors to make repairs.

All performances will be relocated or rescheduled for the next six to eight weeks. And all Cardinals home games in the main gym, which flooded due to the leak, will be relocated or rescheduled for “the next several weeks.”

The auditorium project, known as MISA, has been controversial since it began in 2011. During that time, the price tag jumped from $29 million to over $46 million.

jo.kroeker@hearstmediact.com

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