County to address Kilauea Gym leaks

LIHU‘E — When it rains it pours — and it leaks, too.

The roof at Kilauea Gym, redone in 2003, continues to leak during heavy rainfall, damaging the wood floor of the gym, county Parks and Recreation Director Lenny Rapozo told Kaua‘i County Council members Wednesday.

“Also, there is a lot of moisture that comes in through the east side of the gym in the doors,” said Rapozo, showing council members pictures of black rot damage that has developed on the floor near the door at the gym’s windward entrance.

The problem with the North Shore gym dates back to the 1990s.

“This 15-year debacle with a leaky roof on the Kilauea Gym is truly a sign of the gross inefficiency of those who run our county government,” Kapa‘a resident and self-described “nitpicker” Glenn Mickens said.

Doug Haigh, engineer at the county Public Works Department Building Division, said the gym’s second roof, installed nine years ago, should have a 20-year life span.

“The remedy is ultimately (replacing) the roof,” Rapozo said.

Parks and Recreation has put a request for $120,000 to hire a consultant to decide on a solution for the roof and fix the doors, according to Rapozo. The doors will likely be replaced and a lean will be installed over them to prevent rainwater and moisture from entering the gym, he said.

Mickens questioned what happened to the parties involved in the repair contract for the roof. Jobs involving county funds require a performance or surety bonds from the contractor, he said. If the contractor fails to in his performance, the bonding company steps in and fixes the problem, according to Mickens.

“As long as people are put into positions not because of their qualifications for the job, but for political reasons, problems like this will continue to happen,” Mickens said. “Certainly mistakes can happen with the most qualified person in charge, but why do we consistently have that type of person as a department head?”

Mickens also said the leaky roof is a liability to the county. He said a gentleman slipped and fell at the gym, and opted not to sue the county because he didn’t want the gym to be shut down.

Council Chair Jay Furfaro, who said he was the first to point out the problems at the gym, said he is aware of the “very nice gentleman” who didn’t pursue a lawsuit against the county.

“I’m just as disappointed with the gym not being in the best condition,” Furfaro told Mickens.

Kapa‘a resident and former council candidate Ken Taylor also lashed at the administration, and offered suggestions on roof design and construction to prevent future leaks on new roofing.

Furfaro encouraged Taylor and Mickens to contact the administration with suggestions.

The chair said the administration is supposed to come back to the council and provide an update in 90 days.

• Léo Azambuja, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or lazambuja@ thegardenisland.com.

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