While the Penfield Building Committee on Thursday reviewed a wave of nine options for fixing the Superstorm Sandy-damaged beach pavilion, but the panel seems to be leaning in favor of a 10th scenario that could result in a smaller structure.
The committee discussed all of the options and their rough cost estimates that range from a low of $2.4 million to a high of $7.2 million. The town is awaiting an insurance payout to cover damage to the pavilion, though that figure is still under negotiation.
Officials also hope there may be reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as well.
The engineering and design team hired for the repair project recommends option 3B, which would move the entire building back from the beachfront into the parking lot while new timber piles are driven, elevating, leveling and fixing the building and then moving it back at an estimated cost of $7.1 million.
Committee members, however, appeared more interested in a hybrid of what is known as option 7.
Option 7 would remove the pavilion's east wing housing the lockers, and reset the west wing, which houses the gathering room and concession stand, on a new foundation, with a preliminary price tag of $4.7 million.
"If it's a good building and it's there and it's cheap construction, leave it where it is," committee member William Sapone said, regarding the east wing of lockers. "It's cheap construction, but it is well-built. Those footings are not substantially damaged. Why take down something that is in perfectly good shape?"
Chairman James Bradley suggested that perhaps the locker rooms could be taken down, and then build four changing rooms and small daily lockers, where people could leave their clothes. The town could also leave the east wing with lockers in place, but Bradley said that leaves on section of the building -- the west wing -- that is FEMA-compliant and another that isn't.
"Option 7 seems to the most compelling compromise for what we're trying to achieve," committee member Andrew Graceffa said. "If we got to the town bodies with a $7.1 million estimate, we will run into a buzz saw."
Bradley said the emerging consensus appears to be option 7, and melding parts of other options for the east wing, including demolishing it or leaving it in place. "But I think we need better numbers," he said.
The committee asked the design team to explore cost of dealing with the east wing, including building four changing rooms instead of a wholesale renovation of that wing.
The goal is to have a repaired Penfield Pavilion open for the 2015 season, and that appears possible under all of the options presented. Were the town to decide to demolish the existing building and start from scratch, the entire process would have to go out to bid again, and it would likely be another two years before a new beachfront pavilion could be opened.
Sapone, who served on the original Penfield Pavilion Building Committee, said he felt option 1, which repairs and protects the existing building, should still be considered. That is the cheapest of the proposals at $2.4 million.Read Full Article
He said it was not the design of the pavilion itself, but the bulkhead, that forced water to surge underneath the structure and undermined its footings during the October 2012 storm. "We're over-designing for a problem we can solve in another way," he said.
The committee's engineer, James DeStefano, disagreed and said the pavilion, much like the homes on Fairfield Beach Road that collapsed during Sandy, was built on shallow foundations.
During a storm, DeStefano said, the sands become unstable and the waves begin to liquify the sand. It was that, and not the scouring of the sand, he said, that caused the building to fail.
Even if scouring is prevented, DeStefano said, "we'll still have unstable sand."