Walls of Waveland's new public safety complex fail stress test

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Construction work on the Donald Dorn & John Longo Public Safety Complex in Waveland is at a stand still right now. The steel frame work for the 9,000 square foot public safety complex has been erected, the heavy equipment is in place. The question is where are the construction workers?

"It would be nice to live in a perfect world, but it's just not been a perfect world since I've been elected," Waveland Mayor David Garcia said. "Believe me, any little problem comes up, they come up."

This time the problem involves the concrete walls for the building.

"Architects and engineers, they do the stress test on the concrete they pour. And they have to meet the design specification, as well as the stress specifications on it. And from what I understand, it failed the stress."

The building, which will become home to the police department and city court, is being built to FEMA 361 standards. Which means it will be able to withstand 200-plus mile-per-hour winds.

"Also, we're going to back-up all our IT information in this building, since it's built to 361 standards. So all documentation, city records will also be stored inside of this building," Garcia said.

Most of the concrete components of the building are being formed off site and trucked on-site for assembly. Several concrete panels for the roof structure sit on the back of flat-bed trailers at the site.

"And basically the contractor has to put together the pieces of the puzzle," said City Engineer Bruce Newton.

Newton said the wall problem, coupled with difficulty in finding windows for the building to meet FEMA 361 standards, could delay the May completion date by as much as three months.

"Had a hard time finding windows that met the specifications, but now we do have some. And FEMA is actually reviewing the paperwork for us right now, so we're waiting on their approval so we can move forward. That's also causing a slight delay."

The hope is the public safety complex will be ready for police and city court personnel to move into in August.

The $5 million tab for the building is being pick-up by multiple sources, including FEMA, Community Development Block Grant money, and city insurance proceeds.

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