Rec building foundation tested prior to talks of expansion

By: Sara Kandel | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published July 1, 2013

 Recreational Authority Director Tony Lipinski is hoping a building expansion can include better accommodations for the Roseville-Eastpointe Senior Center.

Recreational Authority Director Tony Lipinski is hoping a building expansion can include better accommodations for the Roseville-Eastpointe Senior Center.

Photo by Sara Kandel

ROSEVILLE — Engineers from Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick Inc. were at the Recreation Center in Roseville in June to perform core tests on the building’s internal footings.

The tests were performed to determine the structural integrity of the footings before the Recreational Authority of Roseville and Eastpointe’s board moves forward in discussions of possible building additions later this year.

As of the June board meeting, the test results weren’t back, but Recreation Director Tony Lipinski reported at the meeting that the analysis is expected to be completed this summer and brought to the board by the August meeting, if not before.

Scott Lockwood, civil engineer from AEW, spoke to the board regarding the test at the June meeting.

“We knew the external footings were in bad condition and there was obviously some concern the internal footings would be in similar condition, so before we proceeded any further with any addition talks, I think we all agreed we needed comfort on the condition of the internal footings,” Lockwood said during the meeting.

Although the test results were not in, he described the visual condition of the internal footings compared to the east end external footings.

“If they had pulled out the cylinder and it fell into a bunch of pieces like (one of the east-end external footings) did, then I probably would have suggested saving the money on the test because they would need to be replaced no matter what, but they didn’t,” Lockwood told the board. “It probably is more good news than anything, but to say anything further without the results back would be irresponsible.”

The test is expected to cost the authority approximately $10,000, but Lipinski is confident it is money well-spent.

“(The test) is worth it to have the peace of mind and not just save in the future on the financial cost, if we were to expand and then have to replace the internal footings, but that would mean relocating and closing down a large part, if not all of the building, during that construction,” Lipinski said. “If we are to do an expansion, we want to make sure everything is in good condition so we don’t have an issue 10 years down the line.

“Once we get the results back, I will put together some options for an expansion, as the results may affect the extent of an expansion and the cost of an expansion.”

The repair and expansion options the board will look at will vary from the bare minimum of addressing the foundation and footing issues along the east end of the building to an actual building expansion, which would allow for designated areas for senior activities and general recreation.

“On the maximum end of expansions, I would like to include a plan that expands the gym and creates an area for the seniors, improves and increases the size of the fitness room and includes improvements to the computer room and preschool room,” Lipinski said.

Currently, the computer room is a rehabbed storage closet and the fitness room is a rehabbed conference room.

“If that type of expansion were to take place, we would get back a storage closet, a conference room and a meeting room, which was also used for party rentals,” Lipinski said. “We would have more room to schedule programs and events in general recreation and in senior activities.”

Whether or not that type of expansion is even an option will depend on the results of internal core tests. During the meeting, Lockwood stated that having to replace the internal footings would have a significant effect on the cost of an expansion; however, he did not offer a specific estimate on the cost of replacement.

While many seniors would welcome an addition that would give them their own space, one Eastpointe senior suggested that no matter the results, replacement of the internal footings should be a priority over an expansion.

“It’s all the same cement,” said Walter Jakubiak. “When they level this building, if it comes to that, and it rains before they can get a floor in, you are going to be in trouble. … My feeling is if you are going to spend the money, do it all. That way, you don’t have to worry about it crumbling in the future.”

If the footings are in good condition, Lipinski likely will suggest to the board an expansion to at least add a senior area.

“I think it’s unfortunate an expansion hasn’t happened already because I think the seniors deserve better accommodations for their programs and services, ” Lipinski said.

The next Recreational Authority of Roseville and Eastpointe board meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. July 11 at the recreation center in Roseville, located at 18185 Sycamore. For more information on the July board meeting or senior and recreation activities, call (586) 445-5480.