When Allen ISD announced two weeks ago that its brand-new, $60 million high school football stadium had developed cracks in the concourse, it was clear that someone had screwed up in epic fashion. One doesn't shut something down, disrupt graduation ceremonies, and call every reporter in earshot to a press conference because of a couple of hairline fractures.
Exactly how epic the failure was became clearer on Wednesday with the release of the preliminary engineering report that prompted Allen ISD to shutter the stadium.
The report offers a handful of potential solutions, ranging from basically sealing the cracks with epoxy to completely replacing the concourse's "elevated joist floor systems with a properly designed and constructed system." Guess which one is more expensive.
The takeaway from the report, which was prepared by Nelson Forensics and obtained by The Dallas Morning News and NBC 5, is that the cracking is "well in excess of cracking that is normal and acceptable"; that the cracks are definitely the contractor's fault, though whether it was ""improper concrete placement, improper concrete finishing, improper concrete curing [or] improper structural design of reinforcing steel to control shrinkage cracking" has yet to be determined; that the stadium's useful life has been significantly decreased; and that the cracks have "potentially decreased [the stadium's] structural capacity," which would be particularly problematic when the stadium is filled with 18,000 people.
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Pogue Construction, which built the stadium, has said that it will "comply with its contractual and warranty obligations," provided there is proof that it's at fault.
The company is taking the line that further investigation will be needed to determine who's responsible for the repairs. But with Nelson's preliminary report essentially absolving the architect, and with Pogue's name on the contract, it's hard to see who else it could be.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.