After months of discussion and evaluations by an engineer regarding a possible Weed Community Center, the Weed Recreation and Parks District voted unanimously to enter into purchasing negotiations for the Great Northern Building, located across the street from Weed Elementary School.

After months of discussion and evaluations by an engineer regarding a possible Weed Community Center, the Weed Recreation and Parks District voted unanimously to enter into purchasing negotiations for the Great Northern Building, located across the street from Weed Elementary School.

After last month’s meeting, the board hired Schlumpberger Consulting Engineers to provide evaluations regarding the structure of both the Great Northern Building and the Weed Mercantile Building. With the exception of fire and life safety and ingress and egress, Schlumpberger presented a detailed structural review, which included evaluations of roofing, walls, floors, building entries, restroom facilities and other features unique to each building.

Though the Great Northern Building was selected by the board, it was not without its share of concerns. According to the review, the building has cracks in the basement and swimming pool area that are not normal in a building of its age, which is less than 10 years. The cracks were not showing dislocation, and it seemed to Schlumpberger that they were a workmanship issue and should not be a problem if properly sealed.

Aside from the cracks, the building was deemed to have inadequate parking and restroom facilities to house a community center. Much of the allowed parking is being shared with an industrial building, the fitness center, Wyeka Vista Community Day School and Great Northern Corporation. Schlumpberger recommended a full evaluation of the intended use of the building to ensure that it can be compliant beyond the structural and ADA requirements. The review also states that a reconfiguration of the existing accessible parking layout can be done by simply re-striping and moving accessible stalls and signs accordingly.

Regarding the Weed Mercantile Building, Schlumpberger summarized that with the exception of the main roof, and the main floor level foundation, the building appeared to be relatively well built and in good structural condition on the inside.

However, the repairs to the roof, foundation and outside concrete items would be possibly $100,000 or more to make the building usable without the second and third floors, plus any of the interior accessibility and occupancy requirements, which he said are substantial. The summary goes on to say that the building has a potential to attain historic designation, and with a large grant of several million dollars, could have a good useful life again. As it stands, it will require continual maintenance to keep it useful and safe.

Since the grant money from the Ford and McConnell foundations has been pulled due to the project's delays under a previous board, the Weed Parks and Recreation District must apply for new grants if a purchase agreement is reached with Great Northern.