Correction of leaks, RFA stage mold in the eyes


“We’re very happy to do this for you, but it’s going to cost a lot of money.”

This response from the entrepreneur who recently addressed an acute mold problem at the stadium of the Free Academy of Rome, in response to the director of the facilities of the City of Rome school district, Alex Rodriguez, asking him for a quote to carry out the remaining repairs required for installation.

Rodriguez reported to the Superintendent’s staff and the Rome Board of Education that the citations to address the issues plaguing the RFA stadium grandstand area are, in the short term, around $ 400,000, and in the long term. , $ 800,000 or more.

Rodriguez said he was very pleased with the cost and service provided by the contractor who cleaned up an acute and unusually widespread mold outbreak under a specific seating area in the RFA grandstand, where that area has been closed since late last summer. , thanks to unwanted spores.

“I’ve never seen mold like this in my life,” Rodriguez said.

The cost of this cleanup was $ 9,000.

Rodriguez approached the company regarding the broader issues requiring attention at the RFA stage. He explained that the infiltration of water encroaching on the area of ​​the stadium’s “tunnel”, where the snack bar, the toilets and the teams’ changing rooms are located, is caused by the failure of a waterproof coating. air affixed to the concrete under and around the bench seat to create a tight seal.

“This coating failed,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez explained that he brought the district architects to the RFA stadium last week to “consider a few things” and that he will have to summon them again.

Vice-chair of the board, Tanya Davis, shared with the board her experience of being at RFA stadium for college sporting events her son was attending. She noticed that the parents were rushing into the tunnel for shelter during a sudden rainstorm and could not find any shelter at all with water streaming directly into the tunnel.

Rodriguez said, “we have to fix the problem.”

Rodriguez went ahead and explained two options for remedying the water issues.

• Option # 1, the cheapest and shortest option, would be to apply what is called a “sacrificial coating” to the concrete of the grandstand. “It’s similar to the siding you might put on your driveway,” Rodriguez explained. “He” sacrifices “himself so that your aisle is not eaten away.

But, Rodriguez went on to point out that this coating itself was rather “eaten away”, hence the name “sacrificial”.

Rodriguez confirmed that this would be the significantly less expensive option, but that it would prevent water encroachment for about five years before the coating slowly begins to wear out and the water slowly begins to wear off. infiltrate, until the problem becomes acute again.

All the seats in the grandstand would have to be removed, but the rest of the structure would remain intact.

The estimated cost to the District of this sacrificial seal would be approximately $ 400,000 and the warranty on the work would be limited.

• The second option put forward by Rodriguez was essentially reconstruction.

Where new standards and codes come into play, Rodriguez warned the stadium would essentially lose what’s in the tunnel – the snack bar, the team rooms – everything.

“It’s a more expensive solution; about $ 800,000, ”Rodriguez said,“ but that will last about 20 years. “

Rodriguez recalled that reconstruction would be similar to removing the roof of a house.

“You’re going to find some surprises,” Rodriguez warned, “so it will probably be more.”

Rodriguez stressed that the guarantee on the reconstruction would be much longer than on the more temporary solution.

As members adjusted to the disturbing news about the stadium’s dining options, Davis lamented an approach that was “not well thought out.”

“We have invested a huge amount of money in new turf and a new track, but now we don’t have a usable stadium,” said Davis. “I understand the seriousness of this. But, we have already made the investment to keep using this field, so we need to fix this problem.

Improvements to the turf field, at a cost of $ 666,364, and the athletics surface, at a cost of $ 1,438,188, have been authorized as part of a larger capital improvement project in the District of $ 14.2 million, approved by voters in December 2019, which also involved various repairs to the RFA school and energy performance improvements in most of the district schools.

Member Joe Mellace asked Rodriguez to talk about the overall structural strength of the facility.

“We’re still waiting for the structural engineer’s report,” Rodriguez said, “but his first glance didn’t sound too alarming. “

Rodriguez reported that corrosion, rust and “things from nature” have been found, and rust and corrosion should be removed for “a closer look.”

“Will that protect the investment we’ve already made,” Davis asked, referring to the new grass and outdoor track?

Rodriguez replied, “It will have to be.”

Rodriguez qualified his response to say that ultimately the district will have to deal with this problem again, at some point.

“We’ll have to look at a more permanent solution and move away from those coatings,” Rodriguez said.

Mellace has widened the net of the discussion to solve the enigma that has haunted the neighborhood since the inauguration of the “new” Free Academy of Rome, located miles from the beloved RFA stadium that once stood proudly next to the “Old” Rome. Free academy. The “new” school also has a football field; but the tradition of hosting competitions at the “stadium” has – to this day – been a tradition that the community, and therefore the district, has not been able to end – and has stopped short of investing in a new one. turf and seats at the ‘new school.

Mellace lobbied Rodriguez for the cost of a more permanent solution, to which Rodriguez responded that he should consult with the architects and return to the board.

“Can we explore the cost – have some ideas – of a more permanent solution,” asked Mellace of Rodriguez and, indeed, his colleagues? “We have a building that is in a different location from the football field. It’s been a debate since we built this school – where is this area going to be? Maybe not this board – but some boards – will have to think about what we should do about this. “


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