Allen ISD Knew About Structural Cracking Before Stadium Opened
NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Who knew what? When did it happen? And why? Those are the questions a lot of people ask when Allen’s $60-million football stadium is the topic of conversation.
The CBS 11 I-Team has now uncovered Allen ISD knew about the cracks. They were actually told to fill them back in 2012, but chose not to. The district says filling the cracks two years ago would have been a temporary fix. But our expert says by waiting they caused more damage to their stadium.
“The district noticed that there were issues in September of 2012, cracking in the concourse,” Dr. Hindt, Allen ISD’s Superintendent, said back on June 19, 2014.
But an email the I-Team got a hold of from Pogue Construction dated August 10th, 2012 says something different. The school district, contractor, and concrete subcontractor knew well before September 2012 about the cracking concerns.
It read, in part, “…the owner is concerned with water getting [in] the cracks and freezing that will become a structural issue in the near future.”
“Initially we were told that was normal,” Dr. Hindt added at that same press conference. “When we noticed that it became a little bit worse, we then commissioned Nelson’s to come in and take a look at the concourse.”
But an observation report from a PBK Architects’ engineer doesn’t fall in line with what Superintendent Hindt said last month.
Dated August 27, 2012, the engineer says, “I observed minor cracking to some degree in virtually every plan area.”
The engineer also took pictures, noting the concrete for this area was poured on a “hot and windy day” and it was “not covered or kept damp through the curing process”.
The engineer recommended “filling the cracks” and applying a “self-leveling concrete topping”.
For better perspective we took the engineering report to Dr. Simon Chao, an engineer and professor at UT-Arlington.
“That’s basically the killer for drying shrinkage,” Dr. Chao explained. “So, we know that when it becomes very hot and windy the water comes out frequently. So, the concrete dries very fast and leads to cracking.”
Underneath all the cracking concrete is steel rebar meant to reinforce the stability and strength of the concourse. Dr. Chao says, by choosing not to fill the cracks, water is allowed to seep through and could potentially rust the steel, making it weaker.
“So, by waiting this long, did they make it worse,” Mireya Villarreal asked.
“I would definitely think they made it worse,” Dr. Chao answered.
In an email to the I-Team, Allen ISD Facilities Director, Greg Suttle, says:
The Nelson Report was not presented to the school district until February, 2013. Based on that information, the school district made the decision to close the stadium as a precaution. Prior to that, the information provided to the school district indicated that the cracking was a natural part of concrete shrinking. There were no fixes done in 2012 because we were waiting to determine the exact cause of the problem. Patching or filling the cracks would only be a temporary fix. Allen ISD did not feel that “filling the cracks” was a permanent solution. That is why the district hired Nelson Forensics to use their expertise on determining the specific cause of the cracking.
PBK Architects also sent a statement:
PBK did visit the site in 2012 and made recommendations on repairs to address the concourse cracking. PBK has continued to work collaboratively with Allen ISD and Pogue Construction to arrive at the best solution for the district and the community.
A Pogue media representative added:
It is Pogue’s understanding that since the time of the issuance of this report, NAE, the engineers retained by AISD, have concluded that the issues observed with the stadium are primarily engineering issues. Pogue continues to stand behind its work.
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