It has been four and a half years since the construction of the berm designed to halt the limited soils movement affecting only two buildings within Gardens South Condos and the hotel and restaurant located below. During the past 18 months Geotechnical Testing Services (GTS) has conducted three more inclinometer tests to monitor the stability of the specific slide area that affects only buildings L & M. at Gardens South. All other buildings with the project appear to be unaffected as evidenced by 30 years of occupancy. We have yet to receive an official written analysis but the preliminary data from GTS is very encouraging and indicates that the berm is quite stable and has been successful in halting the slide. We will post the latest report once we receive it.
GTS is now finalizing it's recommendations to make the berm a permanent structure and to increase the safety factor so that the affected properties can be repaired or replaced. The preliminary plan may involve digging below the toe of the berm behind the Dairy Queen building and installing several layers of geo-grid to further stabilize the slide plane and raise the safety factor from 1.25 to over 1.5 which meets current building codes. The design will most likely also require spraying a concrete gunite coating over the face of the berm to prevent future erosion or sun damage to the geo-grid. Once we have the final design recommendations we will meet with the adjoining property owners to discuss sharing the cost. Then hopefully we can then move forward with the final construction involving the berm.
Gardens South Condos will then determine the feasibility of repairing buildings L & M. We will commission a design plan from both a structural and geo-technical engineer that can be approved by the City. Once a design solution is approved we can then obtain construction bids and determine the cost feasibility of making the repairs. Our preliminary estimates are encouraging and we are optimistic that the two buildings can be eventually repaired within the budget resources currently forecasted.
In the meantime, other improvements to Gardens South are being made. During the past year Gardens South HOA was able to pay off the balance of the loan owed to the City for the construction of the berm in 2012. The blanket lien was removed by the City providing clear title for all units not affected by the slide. The HOA is financially healthy and is setting aside additional funds to make other capital improvements to the project, including refurbishing the 30 year old pool and installing new high speed fiber optic internet service to each unit. We will be one of the first condo projects in St. George to enjoy fast fiber optic service (no copper) with speeds up to 1 GB, a $90/mo value, which will be included in the current HOA fees. We hope to have these improvements completed by May.