Parrish Construction Group release on collapse of partially constructed wall at Sumter County High School site

Published 2:55 pm Tuesday, May 26, 2020

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Release from Parrish Construction Group

To the Sumter County Board of Education

RE:  New Sumter County HS – Collapse of partially constructed wall

On May 18, 2020 at approximately 3:00 pm, a short section of a wall that was actively being constructed was  blown over as a result of sudden high winds in excess of 60 mph. A video was being taken by a worker on site of  the high winds, and the collapsing of the portion of the wall under construction was captured on the video.  Although the video might appear to indicate a section of wall that was nearing completion, the reality is that the  internal components of the wall, which provide nearly all of the structural integrity, were not yet in place. The  construction of the entire wall was per drawings and specifications, as has been verified by the project team  since the incident. The section that collapsed was simply not yet complete. The mortar that is placed between  the block to bind them together was not yet dry. This resulted in what is essentially concrete blocks stacked 11’‐ 4” high without anything in place to bind them together except still wet mortar. The severe wind gusts were  able to blow the not‐yet‐reinforced portion of the wall down. All completed walls on site have the internal  components in place, were subjected to the same forces as the wall in question, and withstood the wind gusts  with ease. This incident is simply an act of God and should in no way call into question the integrity of the  already completed structure. Just the opposite, in fact. It should actually reassure you that the completed  structure is sound.     There are many layers of protection in place to ensure that our masons and all other trades install their work in  complete accordance to the design. Parrish Construction has supervisory staff on site that review the work in  addition to the masonry contractor’s supervision. The designer, Buckley and Associates, has staff on site daily to  review construction in progress. Further, an independent testing agency, TTL, who works directly for Sumter  County Schools, is on site daily to review and document that work is being performed correctly. TTL’s detailed  reports to this point on the project clearly state that all walls have been constructed correctly. These layers of  protection already in place worked well for us in this incidence, as a thorough review by all parties of the wall  after collapse has revealed that all required reinforcement was correctly placed, just not yet grouted in.   Rest assured that your new building is being constructed soundly, safely, and with the utmost attention to the  integrity of the structure. Copies of the TTL reports are certainly available to you as well. Please feel free to call  me if you have any questions or concerns.