08/23/09 — Council takes another look at W.A. Foster Center

View Archive

Council takes another look at W.A. Foster Center

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on August 23, 2009 2:00 AM

Full Size

News-Argus file photo

The W.A. Foster Center has a laundry list of problems, city officials heard this past week -- everything from major repairs to concerns about mold and mildew. The city is considering what to do next with the structure.

More than a year after Goldsboro City Council members discussed whether making repairs at the W.A. Foster Center was feasible, the board has been presented with a list of work that needs to be done there -- courtesy of Jerry Hodge Engineering, PLLC -- and an estimated price tag for the job.

Interim Parks and Recreation director Gail Charles told officials last week that it would cost roughly $94,000 to get the facility in order.

The engineer's report states that the building, constructed in 1938, is structurally sound.

But some of the floors have started sagging and plaster walls have developed large cracks, it reads.

The problems, according to the report, were likely the result of "poor workmanship."

This is not the first time in recent months W.A. Foster has been discussed before the council.

At a work session in June 2008, when council members discussed what needed to be repaired at all the parks and recreation facilities, some questioned whether funding a $50,000 foundation repair was worthwhile.

And in January, the council allocated more than $20,000 to replace playground equipment at the facility.

This recent report, which includes several recommendations other than sagging floors and cracking walls, specifically identified those problems in need of repair.

The first, the engineer said, would reduce the cost of the building's HVAC system.

"It appears from what can be seen that there is not any insulation in the floor, walls or ceiling," the report reads. "Insulation should be added to help lower ... cost."

The locker rooms also created concern.

"Each room has a sump and a sump pump in them. On the first inspection, neither of these pumps was working as they both had standing water in them," the report reads.

And the rooms have high humidity and a "musty smell," conditions generally associated with mold and mildew growth.

"Some type of moisture control needs to be installed to prevent the growth of mold and mildew," the report reads. "This could be done by either installing ventilation or a humidifier."

Council members did not discuss the issue after Ms. Charles finished reading the engineer's findings.

But City Manager Joe Huffman said Saturday that when incoming Parks and Recreation director David Carter starts work Sept. 1, reviewing the report and making a formal recommendation to the council on repairs at the facility would be a top priority.

"And then we'll go from there," Huffman said.