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Building official signed off on permit to Stock and Train at new courthouse

5:37 AM, Jun 7, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Permission to stock and train. It's a document that allows a contractor, tenant or owner to essentially move into and start employee training at a new building.

RELATED: Duval County courthouse blunder parodied in song

The permit for the new courthouse shows Margaret Simone from Turner Construction requested it. It appears COJ inspector Robert Woods signed it, and the head of the building department Jim Shock gave approval.

But the fire marshal's signature is absent from the permit. The fire marshal's signature is on other Stock and Train documents obtained by First Coast News.

The director of the city's Planning and Developement Department Calvin Burney  said the stock and train permit was approved a couple of days after there was a coordination meeting at the courthouse. "All the players were around the table, there were no objections issued," said Burney.

David Decamp with the mayor's office said Wednesday night that Schock signed off on the Stock and Train form after getting a verbal ok from each of the inspectors. Schock checked the box for the fire marshal due to the discussions at the coordination meeting on May 15.

We obtained a stock and train permit application form for the Primrose School being built on Southside on Hodges near Butler Blvd. A number of inspectors checked off and signed the form before the permit was issued.

"The city of Jacksonville is pretty thorough," said Susan Muller who is building her third Jacksonville area Primrose pre-school. Several inspectors came to check and sign off before permission was granted for stock and train.

"It was extremely thorough," said Jarod Kemp of VJA Construction. "We took about a week to go through the inspecdtion process, (They don't let you cut any corners?) We don't cut any corners. (No inspectors here were missing?) No sir."

City of Jacksonville Councilman Matt Schellenberg said even though Shock signed this form, he believes someone else is responsible. 

"Ultimately the responsibility is of the mayor. He is the leader of this thing, of Jacksonville. And I think that as mayor, if I knew the date was moving in, I would have checked to make sure that everything was ready to move in before anything, we started the process. And we should be focusing on what's the important part and maybe not what's less important on maybe the furniture, and we can see maybe the administration was focusing on the wrong thing," he said.

Schock wrote an e-mail, explaining why he signed the permit:

"The permission to stock and train is not a building code requirement and is not related to a certificate of occupancy in any way. It is however a common practice carried out in different ways in different jurisdictions.

"In a new building there are several systems that require commissioning and training to be operated properly by building maintenance employees and other security personnel such as security systems, mechanical commissioning and maintenance training, communication systems, and fire protection commissioning and training including items such as sprinkler systems, alarm systems and smoke control system.

"Also in order to allow the building to open other third party vendors also must access the building to move furniture, telephone and IT equipment in during the final stages of construction. As you may well imagine in a building the size of the courthouse this is no small task (800,000SF) and requires preplanning on the part of the contractor and project management team. 

"At the time Turner Construction requested permission to stock and train they were working from a construction schedule which they believed was obtainable. While there were some issues identified in the smoke control system their belief (sic) was that the issues were identified and correctable (in my opinion).

"Turner's construction team and the city's (sic) project managers did meet to discuss these concerns and in the end agreed with Turner Construction that the timeline to move in and occupy the building was obtainable so the PST was accepted.

"In my opinion I do not believe either party contemplated how difficult the commissioning of the smoke control system was going to be," Schock wrote.

First Coast News requested an interview with Mayor Brown to get his reaction to what the councilman said. We also asked for an interview with Turner Construction. We have not yet heard back on those requests.

For more information on the court's schedule, visit their website.

First Coast News

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