Close Menu
Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


OPA board approves new Yacht Club façade materials

OCEAN PINES—It was a matter of

At least that was
what the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors debated among other issues
at its Oct. 26 board meeting.

In the end, the OPA
board passed a motion to approve alternative façade materials for its new yacht
club. It also affirmed a $75,000 cost increase for the Hingham Lane drainage

The board approved a
motion to go with substituted materials for the exterior of the Yacht Club as
approved by the Worcester County Technical Review Committee, by a vote of 6-1, with Director Marty Clarke
voting in opposition.

In his
report to the board on the Yacht Club construction project, General Manager Bob
Thompson said the framing of the first floor and the steel set for the building
were at least 98 percent complete and that during the following week,
contractors were expected to set floor joists, install the second floor
sheathing and block on the marina’s retaining wall, and begin installing the
facing on the first floor exterior.

Thompson said the project was on
budget, even the recent change orders. 
He asked for a board decision on the matter of split-faced concrete
masonry unit veneer that had been substituted for river rock for the façade of
the exterior wall. The substitution became controversial when it was discovered
earlier this year with little to no advance warning for board members that a
change in materials had occurred.

A design using split concrete
block was chosen after the Worcester County Technical Review Committee
“strongly discouraged” the use of stone in the building materials, because it
did not comply with the list of acceptable commercial building materials that
has been in the Worcester County Guidelines and Standards since November 2009.

Thompson was asked to pursue an
administrative waiver or appeal of the TRC’s position, which he agreed to have
the Yacht Club Implementation Team investigate and report on by the November
board meetings.

In an Oct. 12 memo to Thompson,
the Implementation Team reported its findings and chronicled a timeline of
events leading up to the change, along with a brief list of recommendations. It
said, “The initial design prepared by AWB included river stone as the trim
material. This was a design error as the architect should have followed to
recently approved guidelines.”

In August, 2012 the design was
changed from using river stone as the trim material to concrete block as
negotiations were taking place with County officials on several other changes
during the initial plan review process, according to the memo.

“On 8 August, 2012 at the County
TRC meeting OPA and Harkins/AWB addressed the stone issue, discussed a change
back to stone, and was informed that ‘Stone shall not be utilized.’ This
wording is in the meeting records,” the memo said. It added, “County staff
officials indicated verbally that a waiver by the Planning Commission would not
be approved. In light of that discussion, no request for a waiver was submitted
by OPA/Harkins.”

The Implementation Team memo
further said, “Harkins has already ordered the trim material and it cannot be
credited for its return. To change back to stone trim would cost somewhere
between $40,000 to $60,000. Should a change be approved, there would be a delay
in the completion of the project depending on when the new material would be
approved by the Planning Commission,” which the Implementation Team estimated
would be either the November or December meetings. The river stone could not be
ordered before a request for an exception was approved, it said.

Subsequently, the team
recommended that the board keep the County-approved split-faced CMU trim for
the Yacht Club and make no further effort to request an exception to the
County. According to the memo, the team unanimously agreed that the appearance
of the new trim is acceptable and would present a favorable appearance.

In the memo, the team
acknowledged that the trim issue should have been formally and specifically
brought to the attention of the Board as a separate issue in August 2012, but
suggested, “Had the new trim been presented initially that there would have
been no objections to its use by the Board or the membership.”

During the meeting, Thompson also
alerted the board to a potential change in the plans for kitchen equipment used
in the Yacht Club. He said initially the plan was to reuse most of the existing
equipment. But as a result of a professionally-conducted kitchen redesign and
the process of removing the equipment from the old facility, some worn out
equipment would have to be replaced and a different hood for the ovens would
have to be ordered.

Thompson said information on the
changes to the initial design and the timeline for the project would be
presented to the board during the Nov. 6 working session.

The board also approved to accept
additional costs for a drainage project on the Hingham Lane Project, near the
golf course holes 11 and 12 that total $75,000 to allow the project to go
forward during the current budget year. All other work is complete, with the exception
of the installation of several large pipes at the final site, Thompson said.

The original contract for the
project with McDonald & Sons was for $403,826, with an added cost of
$136,460 factored in to pay for permitting and changes, Thompson said. The
board had approved a total of $540,000 for the project, he said.

The amount paid to date was
$332,067 for McDonald & Sons and $115,966 for the added OPA costs, he said.
The engineering costs with changes for both phase two the golf course drainage
project at holes 11 and 12 and the drainage Hingham Lane project totaled $72,230
for. The total expenditures have been $520,263.

The remaining work to be
accomplished on Hingham Lane would include site work totaling $81,700;
additional work on pipe and fittings, which came to $8,000; and additional
survey work costs of $5,000, for a total of $94,750. But, the balance of the
remaining approved funding is $19,737, Thompson explained.

The difference totaled $75,013,
which he said had not been spent because he did not have the budget authority
to do so. “That’s why the pipes are still in the ground,” he said. He presented
the board with the option of either suspending the project until next year’s
budget begins or to direct the contractor to continue working to wrap up the

Clarke complained that the
original budgeted cost was $450,000 and that the request was yet another cost

Thompson pointed out that the
board had voted to increase the budgeted total to $540,000 and that the work
that would further increase the cost by $75,013 had not been done and was
awaiting board approval. However, he noted that a delaying the project for a
year could impact residents who have complained of flooding in the area and
could result in higher pricing if the project was to restart a year later.

Director Bill Cordwell clarified
that the project was not being pursued to improve drainage for the golf course.  “This helps the residents around the
golf course,” he said.

A project to powerwash the North
Gate Bridge is scheduled to be completed mid-November, Thompson told the board.
He also said the entrance sign had been updated and the area around the pond
had been cleaned.