Annapolis halts police station renovations

May 12, 2007|By Nia-Malika Henderson and Dan Lamothe | Nia-Malika Henderson and Dan Lamothe,sun reporters

Annapolis City officials shut down work yesterday on an $8.8 million renovation and expansion of its police headquarters, pointing to shoddy workmanship.

During a site survey conducted in the past few weeks with a third-party design firm, city inspectors discovered almost 200 instances of deficient work, said Robert O. Schuetz, acting director of central services.

Among the problems, he said, were inconsistencies between design plans and the actual work, water leakage, poor masonry work, and poorly fitted windows and doors.

Attempts by the contractor, J.G. Garcete, to correct the problems were unsatisfactory, Schuetz said.

"There comes a time when you have to get the work completed and the building buttoned up," he said. "We tried to do it with them, but since they hindered that process, we decided that it was in our mutual best interest to stop the work and begin the deeper investigative work ourselves and invite them to attend and witness."

Garcete officials did not return calls for comment yesterday.

The project, which began about 2 1/2 years ago, is a year behind schedule, Schuetz said. It included gutting and renovating the 25,000-square-foot structure and building a 23,000-square-foot addition.

Officer Kevin Freeman, a spokesman for the Police Department, said that the day-to-day work of the 120-member force isn't being hampered by the delay or shutdown.

Next week, the city is expected to remove portions of brick and ceilings to see if building components have been installed properly.

"There's some significant points of disagreement. We know what we contracted for and want things done to the highest standards," Mayor Ellen O. Moyer said.

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