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Longboat Key Sunday, Apr. 25, 2010 7 years ago

Contractors see Colony differently

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

To one construction consultant, buildings at the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort have mold and fungi inside them.

“If left untended,” said Tim Toburen, a consultant with Indoor Environmental Technologies hired by the association representing the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort’s 232 unit owners, “the fungi will begin to eat away at the buildings’ stuctures.”

To another construction expert, Carl Colwell, general contractor and owner of Colwell Construction Inc., the Colony’s buildings “are in good, sound shape.”

“These buildings only have a skin problem,” said Colwell, who was hired by the Colony. He believes the siding needs to be replaced with a new, stronger material that’s fire resistant.

 Toburen and Colwell testified Friday, April 22, in a Colony bankruptcy hearing in federal court in Tampa.
 Toburen, who investigates buildings, told the court he inspected three Colony buildings and seven units in November 2009 and found mold growth and moisture problems in most of the units he inspected.

The buildings, erected in 1973, are not suited for a waterfront environment, Toburen said.

But when Colony attorney Lori Vaughn cross-examined Toburen, she noted the moisture tested in the buildings was only problematic in three instances, according to Toburen’s report. Vaughn’s cross-examination also determined the moisture and mold growth found was primarily located in closets that house air-conditioning handlers and water heaters.

Following Toburen’s testimony, Colwell said he inspected all aspects of the Colony buildings for three days in December 2009. “I had three associates comment to me while on site what good shape these buildings are in on the inside,” Colwell said.

Colwell said the buildings are not infested with termites and only need the wood siding removed and replaced to correct damage caused from dry wood termites that swarm during certain times of the year.
Colwell also said he was hired two months ago at the request of Colony Lender LLC to put together an estimate for building renovation. He said it would cost between $50,000 to $80,000 apiece to renovate the buildings.

Said Colwell: “These buildings were built well and are capable of being refurbished.”

But Colony Beach & Tennis Resort Association attorney Jeffrey Warren questioned whether Colwell was sent to select buildings by Klauber and whether he only investigated units where the air conditioning was never turned off when the resort suspended operations last year.

Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].


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