Cole Auditorium suffers water damage

By Melonie Flomer

April 1, 2014

LAURINBURG — The Robert L. and Elizabeth S. Cole Auditorium on the Richmond Community College campus in Hamlet is in need of repairs, officials said.

RCC President Dale McInnis explained Tuesday during the college board of trustees meeting at the F. Diane Honeycutt Center in Laurinburg that some water damage has occurred to the stucco facing of the 1,000-seat auditorium. The facing, known as EIFS, was used in the facility’s construction 18 years ago. The synthetic EIFS facing and flashing, McInnis said, were out of the warranty period.

Board member Joe Kindley raised his hand to offer further information on the damage.

“It’s mainly the flashing,” he said. “The rubber roof has slid back and allowed water under the flashing and behind the EIFS material.”

Board member Bert Unger reminded the board that the original plans for Cole Auditorium’s construction called for using a different material.

“We used EIFS because it was less expensive than the brick we originally planned,” he said. “We couldn’t afford the brick. If we’d used brick to begin with we might have avoided this expense.”

McInnis said college officials have consulted with an outside firm.

McInnis reminded the board that this was a separate matter from the county operational budget it had approved moments before. The approved budget request which will go before the Richmond County Board of Commissioners later this month.

Brent Barbee, college vice president, explained that the proposed budget requests included a 2 percent salary increase mentioned by the state but not yet confirmed.

“It’s not final, but we do try to use the numbers they put out there when planning,” Barbee said.

This year’s utility bill for facilities in both counties, he said, was higher than normal due to last summer’s unusually hot weather and winter’s below average temperatures and above average wintry precipitation. The bill amounts to $37,500.

Board member Al Covington asked Barbee and the board if there was a possibility of asking the energy company to “even it out, so we have a set, steady amount to pay over time to keep caught up.”

All board members agreed, and Barbee said he would look into it before turning the meeting over to Claudia Robinette, board chair, who accepted the board’s unanimous vote to approve the proposed requests.