Courthouse contractor had issues with arena

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Besides the new Duval County Courthouse, Turner Construction is responsible for building a lot of facilities in northeast Florida.

That includes Jacksonville Veteran's Memorial Arena. Permits obtained by Channel 4 on Friday show that the contractor is repairing the outside of the 7-year-old, $130 million building.

This comes after the company took a lot of heat for doing a poor job in the first place. The arena has been found to have leaks and roof damage, and one review showed bricks could possibly fall from the outside.

A report last year by THP Limited Consulting found "subpar workmanship" and lots of problems with the arena, such as mortar missing, loose bricks and leaks.

While the city of Jacksonville owns the building, it's the builder, Turner Construction, that's taken a lot of the heat.

"The issues that have been discovered are issues that should be covered by the contractor, and they in fact are doing that," said Jim Robinson, director of public works.

Robinson said taxpayers funded the original building, but they're not paying for the repairs. There was a warranty and terms, and Turner is picking up the tab. According to records, the builder plans to spend about $550,000 in repairs.

"Turner Construction immediately started owning the problem," Robinson said.

A spokesman for the company said it's working closely with the city and is trying to quickly address the issues brought to mind. He didn't comment on whether the building was unsafe, but the city says out of an abundance of caution, after hearing some of the bricks may have been loose, it installed scaffolding in certain places.

Robinson said there's nothing people should worry about.

"We don't believe it's unsafe and hasn't been, and certainly the work that's been done will put it back in the shape it needs to be in," Robinson said.

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