Officials in West Seneca have received a report outlining the serious problems at the Burchfield Nature & Arts Center. The report has not been made public, but it appears estimates for repairs run up to $1.5-million with the possibility that it could cost more than that.
The building is on a 29-acre park. The town commissioned the building. Construction was complete in 2001. The facility is a mutli-purpose building. It contained a gallery, rooms for art classes and a few town government offices.
But people using the building began noticing problems, including an inability to open windows. After a closer look at the structure, town government ordered it closed.
To get an assessment of what went wrong and how, the town hired an architect to put together a report. That report was recently delivered. Copies are not available publicly, but 2 On-Your-Side has learned several things contained in the document.
The biggest problems for the building are at the top and bottom. The roof is damaged, apparently connected to the decision to place the heating and cooling systems in the attic. And there is extensive rot and decay in the wood frame of the building were it meets the concrete foundation.
The town has several options, including repairs. An estimate in the report apparently puts the repair costs at $1.5-million.
Doing something about the Burchfield Nature & Arts Center building may have to wait until next year.
The minutes to a March 13th West Seneca Town Board meeting noted Supervisor Sheila Meegan says the town's budget "does not support repairs in 2017".
Meegan did not respond to our requests for an on-camera interview.
And 2 On-Your-Side has learned that among the options town officials are considering is some sort of legal action. If a lawsuit was to be filed, the possible targets may include the architect, project engineer, construction contractor and inspector. Names of those firms or individuals who worked on the building were not disclosed.