October 1, 2020
Dear San Carlos Owners,
In explanation of the Board of Directors’ decision to close the building through December 31, 2020, please review the following list of safety and hazard concerns:
- Fire Protection System: VFP Fire Protection Systems & Services (vendor for the San Carlos fire system) visited San Carlos soon after Hurricane Sally departed Gulf Shores. It should be noted that all fire alarms went off at San Carlos while Hurricane Sally moved through Gulf Shores. During the storm, the Gulf Shores Fire Department was not responding to alarms which, in turn, allowed our system to alert and sound for an extended period of time (until the Vice President of the Board of Directors, who was on-site, was able to safely walk from the 16th floor (via staircase due to the elevators being down during a fire emergency) into the main fire panel room and manually shut all systems down by communicating with Simplex (our fire alarm monitoring vendor).
VFP then visited San Carlos on Friday, September 18, to assess over twenty-four (24) supervisory trouble signals on the main panel as well as stop numerous sprinkler heads in the building from leaking. Further complications arose when VFP found that one of the main circuit boards had caught fire on the 6th floor fire panel thereby shutting down the strobe modules as well as other alert systems on multiple floors.
San Carlos has been on Fire Watch since the early morning hours of September 16, 2020 and will continue with this duty until the fire panel is free of trouble errors, the 6th floor module circuit board is replaced, and the Gulf Shores Fire Marshall confirms that the building is fire alarm protected. VFP has ordered all parts for this rectification to take place, with some of these items arriving by October 2, 2020 (we do not currently have an estimated time of arrival for the circuit board along with a few other hardware replacements).
Fire extinguisher boxes are broken and VFP will need to inspect them for pressure (VFP will need to re-tag). Here again, this is a fire code issue that we are trying
- Electrical Hazards: Hurricane Sally is responsible for blowing the great majority of balcony lights off each unit balcony wall, parking lot lights (and poles) blown down, the overhang carport lights blown off the ceiling, the bollard lights around the pool blown out of the ground, and numerous other lighting fixtures blown off various walls in numerous locations around San Carlos. Our emergency services contractor has gathered all fixtures and subsequently installed wire nuts on all live connections. However, ALL units and the majority of common areas at San Carlos have live wires within contact distance toward guests and Owners.
The preferred lighting vendor for San Carlos, Sequel Electrical Supply, has ordered replacement lighting for each of the described areas of damage mentioned above. Unfortunately, the anticipated delivery dates for replacement lighting is estimated at 4-6 weeks out from the date of this correspondence. * Note – San Carlos management and the Board of Directors specifically requested that the Sequel agent assigned to our property expedite this order (the 4-6 week time frame reflects that request to expedite).
- East Elevator Down: Hurricane Sally is responsible for ripping the metal roof off of the center peak of the main San Carlos roof (i.e. the roof atop the elevator shafts). This damage to the roof allowed a large amount of water to flow into the elevator shafts and accumulate on top of the elevator cars. Thyssen Krupp, the elevator vendor for San Carlos, assessed the damage to the elevator system soon after Hurricane Sally departed. There is substantial accumulation of debris in all elevator tracks (on each lobby due to water accumulation) that must be cleaned in order to avoid additional damage. The top of the east elevator car suffered significant short-circuiting of many electronics, all of which have been ordered and should arrive in 2-4 weeks. TK Elevator is scheduled to come to San Carlos again later this week to assess possible water damage to the other two cars that was not immediately apparent. However, TK elevator has tested elevators 1 and 2 (west and center) and there are no errors to date. The concern at this point in time is that corrosion may be an issue due to the water accumulation on each of those two cars.
At this point in time, San Carlos management and the Board of Directors has spoken to TK elevator and there exists concern over additional guest/owner traffic on the elevators and the impact this additional traffic could have.
- On-Site Crane – In order to rectify the metal roof replacement on the main roof, Steward Construction is setting up a crane in the front lot of San Carlos. There are various issues associated with ordering the material needed to repair the metal roof (matching terracotta design, color, etc.). At this juncture Steward Construction is estimating delivery of all roofing materials over the course of the next 3-4 weeks. Once on-site, Steward Construction estimates at least 10 days of crane usage (thereby causing safety issues to the parking lot and north side of the building).
- Swing Stage – Steward Construction is presently erecting a swing stage on the north side of San Carlos for purposes of repairing stucco and painting the building. Once this process is complete the swing stage will be moved to different portions of the building to repair additional stucco damage and well as exposed rebar. All the while, this process poses a hazard to the floors and parking areas below the swing stage. Steward Construction is estimating that swing stage to be up for approximately two months.
- Scaffolding: Steward Construction is presently erecting scaffolding around the pool area of San Carlos. The pool will remain closed during this process and a safe/hazard concern will exist through completion of this project (1-2 weeks).
- Railings: Steward Construction, San Carlos Staff, and various Board Members are in the process of assessing loose railings located on all walkways and in the east/west stairwells. At this point we have over a dozen areas of railing that are loose, missing bolts, have become bent, or are otherwise compromised. The safety concerns surrounding these issues are obvious and will require placement of hazard tape, ordering of replacement parts, and final rectification.
- Security Staff – Hurricane Sally caused significant damage to the locking mechanisms on the 1st floor lobby doors as well as the 1st floor stairwell doors. Further, during the restoration process all unit doors have and will continue to remain open for ease of access (i.e. crews will be going through each unit over the next week to install floorboards, flooring, and door sweeps). The Board of Directors voted and approved Tidewater Security to keep a 24/7 security presence at San Carlos to prevent any unauthorized individuals from entering the building during this time of reconstruction.
- Exit Signage: All exit exterior exit signage at San Carlos was blown off during Hurricane Sally. Replacements have been ordered and the estimated delivery time is 4-6 weeks out from the time of this Notice. This is an obvious safety code issue that would place guests and Owners in the possibility of harms way.
- Stairwell Lighting: The wind from Hurricane Sally was apparently able to open many of the stairwell doors and cause significant damage to interior stairwell lighting. San Carlos maintenance is currently assessing the total number of fixtures that have become compromised as opposed to the total number of bulbs that have simply broken. The estimated time of repair will depend on fixture availability but could be up to 4 weeks for replacement fixtures to arrive.
- Contractor Material Storage & Vehicle/Trailer Parking – all parking areas at San Carlos are being used for vendor parking, storage, and as an overall staging area for each project. Owners are permitted to park on the second-floor garage but guests at San Carlos would need to park in the main parking areas where safety and hazard concerns will arise given the materials, tools, and equipment that is being transported and used on a daily basis.
Thank you all sincerely for your patience and understanding,
San Carlos Board of Directors