Counties Experience Flaws In New Buildings

Both Inyo and Mono Counties were able to complete new Civic Center buildings in the past year, succeeding in their attempts to consolidate county departments into one location close to population centers. And both were able to do so while saving money on the back end and staying on schedule for the most part.

According to Inyo County Administrative (CAO) Officer Leslie Chapman, the blocks Civic Center in Bishop weren’t sealed well enough to keep rain from coming in during recent storms, in addition to unspecified issues with the building’s roof and mechanical systems. “The first thing is watching it and doing damage control,” Chapman said of the leaking, “We had one of the companies that do [flood] clean up on call, and we didn’t have to call them out. The builder is going to be in town in a couple of weeks, we’ll walk through with him and figure out what needs to be done to correct [the issues].”

Inyo County currently leases the building from a separate owner who was responsible for its construction. “Actually it’s kind of good,” Chapman said, “We found out that there’s a problem and we can fix it … If we found out five years down the road, that would be a different issue.”

Mono County’s Civic Center issues stem, in some part, from design oversights. The recent storms exposed a number of those problems. County Facilities Manager Joe Blanchard gave a rundown of the storm impacts on the building. “It was a challenge.”

“We were not able to keep up with [the snow],” Blanchard said. Blanchard listed the mechanical yard roof, generators and back entrances as “impacted” while staff worked to clear those areas. A number of county vehicles were relocated back to Bridgeport.

(Condensed from a report by Owen Page in the January 15 edition of The Sheet newspaper. Thank you to our media compadres at The Sheet for having the pulse of our communities on their front pages.)