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Home » Announcements » Announcements CCHOA » Notes from Montego Town Hall Meeting April 1, 2021


Notes from Montego Town Hall Meeting April 1, 2021


General Manager: Henry Angelino

HOA President: Dennis Thompson

Village Director: Janice Nierenhausen

HOA Facilities Manager: Sergio Gonzalez

Structural Engineer: Rhett Savoie from Dunn Savoie, Inc.


Garage structure with tennis court on top is an elevated post-tensioned concrete slab design with two slabs separated by an expansion joint. The structure is an original structure built along with the village. When post-tensioned slab technology was in the early stages of development. The concrete slab includes steel rebar and post-tensioned cables running in both directions, north/south and east/west. The cables are located in grease-filled sheaths for protection and inserted into the concrete and then tightened to provide strength to the structure. Concrete is not waterproof, so over time water and salt have seeped into the concrete and corroded the sheathing and cables causing them to break. You may have noticed grease dripping through the cracks in the overhead of the garage. The number of broken cables is unknown but after removing concrete in damaged areas exposed during the resurfacing/re-sealing process, we encountered several cables that were broken in multiple spots.

The structural engineering firm of Dunn Savoie (Rhett Savoie) was hired to perform an initial evaluation of the structure prior to commencing the resurfacing and sealing of the garage and tennis courts. They noted issues with the overhead of the garage and overall structure. After removing the surface of the top of the garage structure, Rhett Savoie conducted additional inspections and recommended halting the resurfacing project and enlisting the assistance of a concrete slab repair specialist. ALS Reinforcing Steel, Inc. was brought in to consult on the damaged cables and hired to effect repairs. Repairs involved breaking out the concrete to locate the non-corroded portion of the broken cables, installing a coupler tying the two ends of the broken cable together, repouring concrete, and re-tensioning the cables. As the process continued, vibrations from the concrete breakout caused two separate cables to snap, an extremely dangerous situation, and the repairs were halted pending further testing. Testing involved taking 6 core samples from each slab at designated locations, half for strength tests and half for salinity or salt tests. Dunn Savoie evaluated the test results. The specified design strength of the slab was 4000 psi and the average tested strength was 2653 psi. Chloride content in concrete structures, measured in parts per million, is corrosive starting at 299 ppm and is considered treatable up to 1496 ppm. The chloride content in the upper inch averaged 1005 pm, 1-2 inches below the surface averaged 540 ppm levels, and 2-3 inches below the surface averaged 288 ppm. This indicated a corrosive environment at the surface and the lower section at the threshold of being corrosive. Treatment could be done to reduce the effect of the salt in the concrete slab, however, damage had already been done as noted by the reduced strength of the concrete and failed cables.

Additional issues noted by the structural engineers were the pattern of cracking above the columns at the top of the slab which is likely indicative of a lack of strength at the slab to column interface and the sagging of the structure around the perimeter of the garage.

Dunn Savoie (Rhett Savoie):

Rhett provided a short narrative of post-tension slab construction, the structure’s current condition (irregularities, cracking, grease stains on garage overhead from post-tension cable sheathing leaking, broken cables, no imminent failure), recommendations for not continuing the repairs due to having to chip out concrete to make repairs, if possible, and ending up with a structure of weak concrete and areas of repaired concrete, and recommendations concerning the timing for taking action to replace the structure. He stated that he proposed surveying the deflection of the slab at strategic locations and monitoring the deflection amount along with a visual inspection every four months to verify the continuing safety of the structure until demolition commenced.

How did we get here?

The garage structure with tennis courts was built in 1981 with maintenance done every 6 years consisting of resurfacing the tennis courts and the top of the structure and making any necessary concrete repairs. However, resurfacing the tennis courts and top of the garage structure did not provide a waterproof barrier for the top of the structure, as assumed, and saltwater was able to seep into the structure.

The garage structure was built with a projected life span off over 30 years. Reserve Study requirements are to reserve funds for the repair and replacement of components over the next 30 years. Thus, repairs were included but not a line item for the replacement of the structure.

Waterproofing the structure was identified as a concern by Sergio Gonzalez and added to the Reserve Study after Henry Angelino became General Manager.

Options for Moving Forward:

A second professional review of the structural engineering analysis and report on the Montego garage structure and tennis courts was conducted and an opinion was received. The second structural engineering firm of Josephson, Werdowatz & Associates, confirmed the initial findings of the structural engineering firm of Dunn Savoie that the garage structure concrete does not have adequate strength and that the slab is corrosive in most areas which are both concerning. Post-tension cables and reinforcing steel are corroded and some have failed in the areas exposed due to resurfacing. Significant cracks were observed in the area of the slab where it is supported by the columns and sagging is evident at the entry and exit sections of the garage. Moisture is also passing through the structure and mineral deposits are observable on the overhead of the parking area. Both structural engineers agree that failure of the structure is not imminent, but that action should be taken to repair or replace the structure while monitoring its condition. Summarizing the three viable options for moving forward, they are:

Option 1: Perform additional testing of the strength and salinity of the structure to determine if the structure can be repaired and the repair technique required. The estimate cost of additional testing is between $20,000 - $30,000. Rough estimates for the repairs, if even possible, are $1 – $1.5 million dollars with the potential for earthquake retrofits being required to bring the structure up to code for an additional $500,000 and waterproofing of $250,000, and $70,000 for the tennis courts. Total estimated cost would be approximately $2 – $2.5 million and the structure would require ongoing maintenance to keep it sealed, $410,000 and $70,000 for maintenance over 15 years, with an uncertain remaining life.

Option 2: Tear down the existing structure and replace it with a like structure to support two tennis courts. The rough estimate is $200,000 to tear down and dispose of the structure, $2 - $3 million to build a new structure, and ongoing maintenance costs to waterproof the structure and maintain the tennis courts. Total estimate cost would be approximately $3 million plus $410,000 for maintenance over 15 years with a remaining useful life of 30 plus years.

Option 3: Tear down the existing structure and replace it with a covered, unenclosed garage structure similar to the exterior parking garage structure in place along the southern wall of Montego. The tennis courts would be eliminated entirely from the Village. The rough estimate is $200,000 to tear down and dispose of the structure and $500,000 to build the replacement structure. Ongoing maintenance costs would consist of waterproofing the flat roof every 10- 20 years and painting the structure every 5 years. Total estimated cost would be approximately $700,000 plus $210,000 for maintenance over the next 20 years with a remaining useful life of 30 plus years.

Both tear down options would require owners of enclosed garages to remove garage doors and machinery and all owners would need to remove items from storage cabinets. Storage cabinets would be a feature to be included in future designs. Parking would be unavailable for an extended period of time as yet to be determined. Arrangements with the City, Loews, and State Beach could be explored. Preferred timeframe for project would be after Labor Day 2022 to minimize the impact and number of residents. The pool and clubhouse would be closed during the demolition process but could be reopened once removal of debris is complete. Renovation of the asphalt will occur after the parking structure project is complete.

Funding Options:

We have been told that material costs are increasing so, please be mindful that the costs cited above are only rough estimates based upon speaking to engineers and contractors experienced in this work. Further, engineering and permit cost increases could also occur that will affect the overall price. We know this is not the news you were hoping for and we too wanted a cost-effective repair solution to be the
answer. The parking garage structure was built in the early days of post-tension cable technology and does not meet current codes.

On a positive note, Montego Village has been building up its Reserves and a portion of the cost of the project can be paid for with those funds. The current plan is to keep assessments at the same level for the upcoming year while we determine a more accurate number for actual cost of the replacement structure. The expected Reserve balance for Montego at the end of 2021-2022 is estimated at $480,000. The remaining shortfall would be funded either by a special assessment or by an increase in monthly assessments. The final decision as to how to proceed will only be made by the CCHOA Board after receiving input from the Montego Village owners, confirming the overall estimated costs of the project and funding options. More information will be provided as this matter progresses and prior to a final decision being made.

Question and Answer Session

Question and Answer Session

What is the expected timeline for the project? It depends on the option chosen, but it is estimated that it would take 2-3 weeks to complete the demolition and disposal of the current garage and another 3-4 months to build a replacement covered garage once designs were finalized and permits were in hand. A like for like replacement structure would take longer.
One owner commented that can we all just agree that Options 1 and 2 are completely outrageous and that we forget about them and go with Option 3.

Do we need to vote on the option to move forward? GM Angelino stated that he needs to consult with legal counsel to see if a formal vote or an advisory vote is required/recommended.

What about solar paneling on roof and selling power to other villages? One of the challenges would be the distribution, but power generated via solar panels could be used for the Montego’s clubhouse, pool, exterior lighting, and garages.

Can we do something similar to Antigua with individual garages? Do not believe there is sufficient room for enclosed garages but can measure and explore that option. One thought would be to have two rows of parking on the southern portion of the new garage separated by an open area then the third row of parking closest to the pool. The open area would allow for taller vehicles to transit through the parking area.

Structural Engineer Rhett Savoie commented that a portion of the new covered parking structure could be built to accommodate a rooftop deck adjacent to the pool area for BBQs, picnic tables, and gatherings as an amenity. If we build a concrete structure with tennis courts, they would be the most expensive tennis courts in the county by far.

Owner discussed loss of tennis court amenity and other planned upgrades to the tennis court and surrounding rooftop. Encouraged investment in a new structure over spending more money on repairs to the current structure. Recommended all owners check their insurance policies to see if they cover un-reserved repairs/replacement costs. Putting off the replacement of the garage structure and saving up reserves would adversely affect the amount of insurance money he could use to pay for a new structure.