The aftermath of Winter Storm Nemo continues to worsen as the total cost for the repaired McCarthy Center front patio has exceeded initial estimates, according to FSU’s Facilities Director Warren Fairbanks.
In the days immediately following the blizzard, the tiles to the McCarthy Center entrance became dislodged and hazardous to walk on due to the roof drain underneath the tiles freezing during the nor’easter, which led to ice pushing up from underneath the tiles, said Fairbanks.
When asked if the early costs for the repairs, estimated at $5,000 to $10,000, were still accurate, Fairbanks said, “It’s going to cost more than that.
“I have not yet received the invoice for the cost of repairs,” he said, “but it’ll cost about $15,000.”
Fairbanks explained that one of the biggest concerned he had was whether the structural integrity of the dining common’s roof, which lies beneath the tiles, was compromised.
When workers removed the tiles, they discovered the condition of the roof was fine.
“The roof was in good shape under the tiles,” Fairbanks said, but many of the pedestals that supported the tiles were “worn down,” or, worse, “destroyed.”
The pedestals, which Fairbanks said are “made of a fiberglass material,” were not destroyed solely because of Winter Storm Nemo.
“We believe some of the damages to the pedestals were caused by vehicles being parked or driven on the tiles,” he said.
When asked if the vehicles in question were snowplows, he said he didn’t believe so and wondered if the golf carts used by some departments could have been the culprits.
Many students had complained that the loosened tiles were dangerous – one student said she tripped over one of the tiles and sprained her ankle – and Facilities were taking too long in repairing them.
Fairbanks said Facilities immediately called the original installers of the tiles, after it became apparent the tiles were wobbly, and had them survey the extent of the damage so repairs could begin.
The repairs could only begin once the installers had time in their schedule, he said.
Facilities partitioned off the dislodged tiles with several orange pylons and yellow caution tape until repairs began.
Mike Danksewicz, a sophomore food and nutrition major, said , “I honestly thought that they should have addressed the issue sooner than they did. It was an annoyance having to bustle my way through such a narrow path that literally thousands of people need to enter and exit from each day.”
Lauren Piandes, a sophomore communication arts major, said, “I think that the tiles being fixed was good and bad. It was safer to walk during repairs, but at the same time it was creating a lot of traffic getting into McCarthy.”