East Ridge and state officials, along with engineers and an architect, are currently inspecting all four buildings in the Superior Creek Lodge attempting to determine what repairs it needs to bring it up to current city building and fire safety codes.
Interim City Manager Mike Williams, who is also the fire chief, said the engineer, architect and city building officials are trying to figure out what needs to be fixed to make the property safe for habitation. Williams said the engineer and architect will come up with a plan on how to approach structural deficiencies in the 40-plus year old building that has been an extended stay motel for about a decade. He said he did not know when that report and plan of action would be finalized.
On Sept. 9 and 10, East Ridge officials condemned the 266-unit, three-story complex citing “life safety” issues associated with the exterior walkways and balconies. During that two-day period, about 800 residents were forced to find another place to stay.
On Wednesday morning, city building officials discussed with SCL owner David Gysin, his engineer and architect, Brian Adams and Tom Bartoo, respectively, the need to go virtually room-by-room to document pervasive problems in the building.
As the inspection was starting Bartoo told the group that he wanted to get a clear idea of the “scope” of what needed to be done.
Chief Building Inspector Brad Hayen discussed with the group that the concrete floors between the upper floors were separating, reducing the effectiveness of the overall fire rating of the building. Hayen said it was cracked and the overall integrity of the building may be compromised.
It was also noted that the building does not have a fire sprinkler system and that there are no “stand pipes” that firefighters can hook hoses to on the exterior of the building to aid them in the event of a fire.
Williams said that city officials have not been in every room of Superior Creek Lodge. He said city officials would point out “major issues” they have discovered to Gysin’s engineer and architect.
In one third-floor unit in Building D, cracking tile on the living room floor alerted building inspectors to the possibility the underlying support may be rotten. The architect took a hammer to the concrete beneath the tile in an effort to assess the possible damage.
The inspection is continuing. East Ridge News Online will update this story when more information becomes available.