Hospital commission approves 5-phase plan to repair 25 Norris Street

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

By Samantha Jones

Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com

The Eureka Springs Hospital Commission is moving forward with repair work at 25 Norris Street.

At a special called meeting on Thursday, Nov. 21, chairman John House updated the commission on what happened since its last meeting. House recalled the commission's Nov. 18 vote to hire a general contractor to take over the Norris Street property project, saying commissioner Barbara Dicks worked with local inspector Dick Titus to put together a proposal for the work.

Dicks said she and Titus took the proposal to Mayor Butch Berry and Berry said the commission doesn't need to put the work out for bid. Instead, Dicks said, Berry suggested breaking the work into phases. If a certain phase costs more than $20,000, Dicks said, the commission will have to put the work out for bid. Dicks said any work costing less than that won't require bids.

Titus said he and Dicks worked with Berry to break the work into five phases. According to their proposal, the first phase would include removing trash from the basement and junk from the yard; removing the carpet, floor tile and sheet vinyl from the basement floor; scraping up excess glue down to the concrete floor; removing the basement bathroom ceiling and walls surrounding the tub; sealing the water line in the east foundation wall; covering the exposed dirt in the crawl space with a vapor barrier; building walls at both crawl space entrances with access doors to stop the air exchange between the finished basement and the crawl space; removing the tub from the upstairs bathroom; removing all plastic wall tiles from the upstairs bathroom; patching the damaged floor area in the upstairs bathroom; having a plumber inspect all water lines, drains and the toilet mount in the wall; and capping drains for the basement toilet, tub, washing machine drain and two room sinks.

The second phase includes removing mildew from all surfaces and having a contractor apply a mold killing chemical when the area is clean, the proposal says, and the third phase includes having the gas furnace inspected and turned on and requesting bids to replace the heat and air system, with one unit for each floor.

The proposal says the fourth phase includes cleaning and inspecting the existing gutter and downspouts on the front of the building; installing a gutter on the back of the building; removing and replacing the basement door and door jam; sealing the new door jam to the existing exterior masonry wall; installing a fiberglass tub/shower unit in the upstairs bathroom; installing drywall around the new tub; repairing all drywall in the upstairs bathroom; painting the upstairs bathroom ceiling and walls; repairing or replacing wooden baseboards under the toilet in the upstairs bathroom; installing sheet vinyl on the upstairs bathroom floor and providing a transition strip at the upstairs bathroom floor.

The fifth phase includes having a plumber finish the tub installation and install the wall-hung toilet, the proposal says, as well as having the mold removal contractor come for a follow-up visit. The proposal says the commission might request additional equipment such as a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the finished basement and a drain for the humidifier.

House asked how long the proposed work should take and Titus said it should be done around the beginning of 2020. It's tough to say if vendors will be available, Titus said, with the holiday season in full swing.

"But they may surprise us," Titus said.

Titus said it's possible the commission will need to replace the furnace, which was installed in 1996. It could cost between $15,000 and $20,000 to complete that work, Titus said, but there's no way to know until they try to turn the furnace on. Dicks suggested allocating up to $40,000 to the project in case the commission needs to purchase a new furnace.

Commissioner Michael Merry moved to approve the proposed work plan with an initial budget of $40,000, giving the commission authority to open accounts with local vendors as needed. The commission unanimously approved the motion.

The commission's next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16, at the ECHO community room.

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