Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport’s governing board has accepted a proposal from an Oklahoma City firm to identify the cause of damage at one of the city’s newest fire stations.
Lawton Fire Station No. 2, located on Bishop Road, is on the northern edge of the airport and houses the specially-trained fire crews that respond to airport emergencies. Crews moved into the new, $4.4 million station in early 2020 and almost immediately, officials began reporting problems with cracking inside the building. The problem apparently was due to instability causing movement under the building, members of the Lawton Metropolitan Area Airport Authority said in January when voted to sue the entities involved in the construction project to identify who is responsible.
This week, authority members signed off on an $84,700 proposal with Terracon to provide the geotechnical engineering services that will help answer questions about the cause of damage and what can be done to correct it. Terracon’s contract will return to the board for formal approval at its next meeting, Authority Chairman David Madigan said.
Terracon said its goal is to review the information collected to date on the building’s subgrade and evaluate the structural condition of the building, information that will be used to develop repair options for airport officials to consider.
The work will include a LiDAR (a light detection system to examine the ground) and structural survey of the building, with recommendations for remediation that could include treatment for the subgrade and improvements/modifications to the structure. Work also will include additional core and subgrade testing in the fire truck bay area, as well as possible test pits near the foundation to confirm the “as built” configuration of the building, according to Terracon’s proposal. And, the firm will test under the bay floor for moisture content and classification of the subgrade.
Terracon’s final report report will include documentation of the building’s stress points, a report on LiDAR scan, summary of lab test results, and remedial options for the subgrade and/or building. That report is expected to be ready within six weeks of contract approval.
The $84,700 contract identifies the LiDAR work ($24,265), geotechnical services with remediation options and costs ($28,235), and structural evaluation of the building ($32,200).
The airport authority voted in January to file suit in Comanche County District Court for breach of agreement (contact) against Rich Construction, Garver LLC, Corgan Associates, AG&E Associates, Jet Commercial Construction, ECS Southwest and A.E. Construction. Airport officials have said the lawsuit against the building’s contractors, designers and oversight entities is designed to determine who is responsible for the problem. Airport Director Barbara McNally has said while the building is structurally sound, cracks are evident in walls and ceilings, floor tiles have popped up and floors have dropped several inches.
McNally and airport authority members say problems apparently stem from the plasticity of the clay soil under the building. Preliminary indications the soil under the station seems to have even higher plasticity than the clay soil around it.