CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A year’s worth of reconstruction on the Public Service Commission’s Charleston headquarters is finally coming to an end. The contractor is cleaning up the area around the building on Quarrier Street which was encased in scaffolding on all sides for months.
“We’re pleased that’s gone and we’re pleased the two lanes of traffic which were unfortunately blocked have been opened back up,” said PSC Spokesperson Susan Small.
The work was caused by shoddy workmanship in the building’s construction. The brick outer wall of the building began to slip away from the cinder block interior wall. Inspectors determined the steel brick ties, which should have held the walls together, were inadequate. Turns out it was worse than that according to Small.
“When they got into taking some of the brick off there was a lot more work that needed to be done than was originally recognized,” she said. “In many cases the brick ties weren’t there at all.”
Construction crews had to rebuild the entire brick exterior. There were also serious problems with the huge glass windows on the east side of the building. They were supposed to sit on six inch steel beams, but in some places were seated on steel straps less than an inch wide.
To make sure the work was properly done in the renovation, the PSC hired a project manager to monitor the work.
“A quality control consultant went around and monitored construction as it was ongoing,” Small explained. “That consultant has an extra month on the contract past when the general contractor is here. Their job is to go around and make sure all of the work was done as it was specified to be done.”
Small says so far it appears all work this time was done appropriately and the problems should be behind them. Contractors have some cosmetic work involving window sealing, painting, and carpet cleaning before the project is declared completely finished, but the major work is done.