Jul 132010
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

After the office of CSU President Tony Frank and the Collegian received a complaint regarding allegedly faulty construction materials at one of the university’s Foothill Campus sites, a review will be conducted.

The Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, CIRA, addition is where complainant Scott Foster, president of ProFab Framing, claims a competing company is using dated and damaged wood.

Complaints of this nature, Director of Facilities Management Brian Chase said, are not uncommon.

“Every month there are people who have concerns about health and safety issues,” Chase said. “Because there was a complaint, we’ll do a review of the site and our project manager will be doing weekly check-ins.”

The wood pallets come from a 2008 construction project, which failed after New Frontier Bank in Greeley folded, near the FarmHouse fraternity. Foster’s company was the sub-contractor on the Observatory Park project and was in-charge of the wood for the site in 2008.

Pacific Framing ¬¬–– the company sub-contracting on the CIRA project –– acquired the wood through a direct deal with the owner of Observatory Park.

The wood in question is dated November 2007 and is sitting at the foothills site. Steve Johnson of Pacific Framing said it has been cleared for construction will likely be used on the project.

“I’ve got kids. I wouldn’t want to hurt anybody,” Johnson said. He added that the nature of the business is to buy wood competitively, but that doesn’t mean the material is not quality.

A similar complaint regarding wood quality was filed against Johnson’s company in Sterling earlier this month and that same wood palate is now at CSU. Foster was the complainant, Johnson said.

He added that Foster files similar complaints at every site he is involved with.

Sterling’s investigation resulted in a few questionable pieces of lumber, which were then thrown out, Johnson said. He added that in any stack of wood there is bound to be a faulty piece or two.

Douglas Rice, mold expert and lab director for CSU’s Environmental Health Services, said on-site that lumber mold often comes along with the palate from the mill and is usually not harmful.

Rice’s department will conduct the review over the next two weeks and produce a written report.

Foster provided the Collegian with his personal investigation into the matter, including documents of his complaints to Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a video of the construction materials and a list of litigation. He said he’d been looking into Pacific Framing for about two years.

Foster’s interest, he said, is making sure Pacific Framing isn’t using questionable lumber on a CSU building.

McCauley Constructors, the overarching contractor, has an “excellent reputation,” but when a complaint is received, Facilities has an obligation to look into it, Chase said.

A CSU project manager is present daily at all construction sites, Chase said. “There’s very little that can occur out there that we don’t know of.”

Assistant News Editor Kirsten Silveira can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:49 pm

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