WILMINGTON, MA — At Monday night’s Board of Selectmen, Town Manager Jeff Hull announced that Wilmington High School’s gymnasium floor is getting replaced.
“This may be a surprise to many people,” began Hull. “The [new high school] opened in 2015. In the early summer months of 2015, [the DPW] identified that the floor panels in some locations were crimping, particularly in the center of the floor.”
The building project’s design firm Dore & Whittier and contractor Gilbane Co. told the town that the crimping was “a natural part of acclimation” and that the wood would shrink and expand depending on the climate.
“[The floor] continued to maintain an unevenness, which led the town to pursuing the issue further with the designers and contractor,” continued Hull. “Ultimately, their recommendation was to bring in dehumidifiers and fans, which we did. These has some measure of effect, but the floor wouldn’t settle back down until the fall. These circumstances have continued now for the last few years.”
“Clearly, the townspeople paid for a gym floor that was going to function the way it is intended to. It’s the town’s position that the floor needs to be replaced,” concluded Hull. “The expectation is that we will be going to mediation with the contractor to resolve the floor’s replacement.”
The town recently completed a bidding process for the floor project, receiving three bids ranging from $219,200 to $268,666.
“The expectation is we would be looking to award the job to the lowest qualified bidder, subject to the mediation process,” explained Hull. “Town Counsel is involved as we look to mediate this matter.”
“I definitely feel that the contractor is absolutely responsible for this and really needs to pay for it,” added Selectman Mike McCoy. “It should be loud and clear that the town shouldn’t be paying a penny for it. It’s the contractors fault and they’re trying to say it’s not.”
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