Pool Update – April 28, 2014
Several Weeks ago Lennar brought the board of directors a contract which outlined Lennar’s intention to repair the pool. This was a big step in the right direction after months of soil tests, engineer reports, etc.
Prior to bringing a contract to the board, Lennar spent time and money examining the problems with the pool and then collected suggestions for repairs. SUMMIT Engineering and Construction Services, Inc. provided several options for repairs. A consultant hired by Lennar met with the board several times and ultimately Lennar decided to go with the most expensive, but in many ways the most sound option… complete demo and rebuild. The work and permits required to do this have been the primary factor slowing the entire process down.
After the board received the contract we met and discussed our questions. The board met with a lawyer months earlier to discuss the roads, the pool, and several other legal concerns. Armed with the information presented by that lawyer the board posed several questions to Lennar and made suggestions for changes to the contract. The board further sought another legal opinion on the specific contract we were now reviewing. Again, armed with that legal opinion the board sought changes and asked for more information.
Throughout the “negotiations” Lennar offered assurances and provided everything the board requested, in writing. With the specifics of the pool rebuild properly documented the board focused on the sub-grade (the dirt under the pool). The board consulted with a structural engineer and a geotechnical engineer regarding the sub-grade work. Armed with the information provided by the engineers the board then posed several new requests. Lennar’s reps showed concern that the pool project was being delayed due to the slow back and forth process we had entered into, and today (April 28th) they requested an emergency meeting of all parties involved in the pool project. Lennar reps, the pool construction company, the contractor for the sub-grade, Summit, the HOA’s geotechnical engineer, Lennar’s pool construction consultant, the pool construction project manager, and four of the HOA’s board members were able to make this emergency meeting on short notice.
The primary reason for the meeting was to cut to the chase and get an agreement everyone could be happy with. Lennar’s reps did not know the association had sought legal opinions or hired a geotechnical engineer. Though they were surprised when we introduced our engineer, they did not bulk at his involvement and even welcomed him. The purpose of our geotech engineers presence at the meeting was to interpret what Summits findings are, monitor the conversation, and give the HOA a solid third party opinion. Lennar agreed to re-word the contract to include the sub-grade work (with an understanding that our geotech and Summit will work together during the earthwork and ensure it is solid BEFORE a new pool is constructed). During the meeting the board expressed our biggest concern; the sub-grade will fail again and the pool will sink. Our geotech eng suggested the pool be demolished, the hole be filled, plates be placed on the fill dirt to allow the ground to settle, and then the ground be dug out for the new pool. The downside, up to a 30 day delay in construction. The upside, solid ground to build a pool on. Lennar’s original plan did not call for the 30 day settling period.
Lennar expressed a serious concern that the 30 day delay would pretty much guarantee the pool will not open in time for summer. As disheartening as this news is, the board feels the best decision is to take the advise of our geotech eng and request the delay so that the ground can be properly prepared for the new pool.
Lennar offered to “patch” the pool and get the pool opened for the 2014 season… but the board rejected the offer. The board made that decision based on the cost of water and chemicals wasted last year due to the current condition of the pool, the amount of damage that may continue to occur if the pool is patched and refilled, the added delays in getting construction started and the pool finally replaced, and advice from our geotech to do the pool work during the hotter months of the year in order to better prepare the soil.
While there is no “final” agreement in place, the board is confident that we are close. Lennar has never told us something and then not followed through. Lennar has maintained a firm position that they will correct the pool problem. Lennar has never threatened to walk away from the pool project or leave us with a bad pool. Lennar has committed thousands of dollars to the project without any need for threats from a lawyer or scare tactics concerning the local news.
There will be some preparations in the next few weeks as the construction company begins to remove the “water mushrooms” and prep for demolition.
Ultimately your elected board of directors have stayed committed to this project. None of us expected to have to work so hard on this project.
I would like to publicly thank Alicia Jones, Jon Rodman, Brigida Dessere, and Chris Martin for the many, many hours you and your family have committed to this project. I would further like to recognize Danielle Rudisill of AMG for her efforts. Lastly I would like to thank Patricia Mills of Lennar for the work she has put into this project. Thank you, each of you, for helping to get us this close to an agreement.
Please keep in mind that we still have a few finishing touches to put on the agreement before major work can begin. Beyond that we will have to contend with multiple construction schedules and the weather. Lennar has worked hard to give us assurances in writing… again… without the need for a long drawn out court battle. Please keep that in mind when browsing their Facebook page or other social media sites.
We will update the neighborhood as we can. It is my understanding that Lennar will be sending a letter to the neighborhood outlining their commitment in the near future.
Almond Glen Owners Association, INC.
Member – Board of Directors