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Monday, October 19, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane Valley to spend more than $600,000 on new CenterPlace roof

Center Place is seen in July of 2018, in Spokane Valley. The building’s roof has had issues with leaking since 2014 and staff estimate a new roof will cost the city $607,000. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Center Place is seen in July of 2018, in Spokane Valley. The building’s roof has had issues with leaking since 2014 and staff estimate a new roof will cost the city $607,000. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Fourteen years after it opened to the public, the CenterPlace regional event center needs a new roof.

The 54,000-square-foot building cost $10 million to build, according to Spokesman-Review archives, and hosts the senior center, community college classes as well as public and private events. The roof, which was expected to last decades, is estimated to cost $607,000 to replace.

Spokane Valley Parks Director Mike Stone said the roof did not last as long as it should have because of workmanship issues, and the contractor did not appear to have followed the manufacturer’s recommendations. The material it was made of was popular at the time with roofers, but has since fallen out of use because it has not withstood freezing and thawing cycles. He said the main issue with the roof is the way it was installed.

The city hired a consultant to investigate the roof’s issues after leaks began to appear in 2014, and the consultant found a number of issues beneath the tiling. Stone said the city spent $8,600 in 2015 on repairs and another $52,000 in 2016.

Jeff Kleingartner, spokesman for the city of Spokane Valley, said the city could not comment at this time on whether the city would take legal action over the condition of the roof.

According to the 2004 contract to build CenterPlace, the contractor was Mooney and Pugh Contractors and the architect for the project was Tan Moore Architects. The initial contract was for almost $7.6 million, but it was changed several times afterward, including a small change to the roof.

The founders of that construction company, Roger Mooney and Barry Pugh, were bought out by Cory Yost and retired in 2005, according to a 2016 Journal of Business article. The company became Yost, Mooney & Pugh before it merged with Gallagher Construction Group Inc. and became Yost Gallagher Construction, which still exists today.

Yost could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Spokane Valley City Council was presented with several options earlier this month and six members voted to use standing seam metal roofing for the repairs. That material was the second-most expensive and is expected to last 50 years.

The other options included an asphalt composition roof, which would have cost $426,000, and a metal tile roof, which would have cost $603,500 for materials alone. The standing seam metal and metal tile do not require maintenance, though metal tiles are more susceptible to leaks than the other two options, according to a report from Spokane Valley staff.

Spokane Valley Mayor Rod Higgins said he was surprised the roof needed to be replaced so soon after it was built, because he believed it already was a 50-year roof. He said past Spokane Valley elected officials could have done a better job ensuring the contractors built a adequate roof.

“This time it will be done right, and it should be a 50-year solution,” Higgins said.

Councilman Arne Woodard said he didn’t blame previous city leaders for the condition of the roof, because they likely made a decision based on the information that was available to them.

“I’m not going to blame any (past) council,” he said. “Everybody makes the best decisions that they can with what they know at the time.”

The only council member to vote against using standing seam metal roofing was Ben Wick, who said he preferred a less-expensive asphalt roofing material. That material costs $426,000, which is about $106,000 less than the material the rest of the council chose. The cost of staffing, engineering, architecture and a contingency for the approximate $532,000 in material picked amounts to about $75,000. The money to pay for roofing will have to come from reserves next year, which Wick said is a huge expense the council did not budget for.

He said he would have preferred the less-expensive option, but the repair does need to happen next year even though the city hadn’t planned for the expense.

“We have to replace that roof,” he said. “The little fixes we’ve been doing are not economical.”

The bid for the project is expected to open in February, and construction is expected to start in April. The roof likely will be complete by the end of May.

Stone said construction will probably happen quickly and likely won’t affect people using the building.

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