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Sundial History

Roof Collapse

On April 14, 1973, Del Webb presided over the dedication ceremony that marked the opening of the Sundial Recreation Center.  The indoor L-shaped swimming pool, with lush plantings surrounding it, drew big crowds.

(Click here for Daily News-Sun 4/14/98 article)

In May, 1986, a sharp supervisor at Sundial noticed something wrong with the ceiling tiles and brought in a cherrypicker to check things out.  What he discovered was structural damage caused by humidity and chlorine vapors.

(Click here for Daily News-Sun 5/9/86 article)

The building was closed for fear of roof collapse.  It was determined that the air handlers were not adequently removing humidity from the building.  Three of four air handlers were not operating. 

(Click here for Independent 5/21/86 article)

(Click here for EASY-READ TEXT)

(Click here for Daily News-Sun 5/15/86 article)

(Click here for EASY-READ TEXT)

There was a particularly contentious controversy about whether or not to use salvageable parts of the old roof for the remodel.  The board chose not to "put a failure back together" and spent $1,332,000 for an entirely new design.

(Click here for Independent 7/1/87 article)

(Click here for EASY-READ TEXT)

Not only did the board replace the roof, they also added a heated exercise pool, which generated additional humidity and chlorine vapors to be expelled by the air handlers.  In January, 1988, Sundial was reopened.

(Click here for Independent 1/13/88 article)

In 2001, plans were made to add two steamy spas to the room.

(Click here for RCSC Boardtalk May 2001)

During the remodel, there were problems with the floor plans not reflecting correctly the location of the plumbing and electric lines, resulting in delays and added costs to the project.

(Click here for Sun Views, Jan. 2003, Page 17)

According to a former RCSC 18-year employee in charge of the air handlers on the Sundial roof, the electricity to three of four air handlers was cut and not restored as of the end of 2005, when he left the RCSC.

(Click here to play video -- download time varies depending on internet provider) (The browser does a good job.)

He said that during the 2002 renovation, the electricity was accidentally cut while sawcutting the chiller room floor.  Though he reported this to his superiors, nothing was done about it.

(Click here to play video -- download time varies depending on internet provider) (The browser does a good job.)

He added that, without the air handlers bringing fresh air into the building and pulling the humidity out through the attic, the moisture could not escape, which would consequently cause the wooden beams to rot.  Of the four air handlers, the big one in the middle and the two small ones on the east side were not working.  The small one on the west side was inadequate to the task of handling the massive amounts of humidity generated by a heated Olympic-sized pool, an even hotter exercise pool, and two 102-degree spas.

(Click here to play video -- download time varies depending on internet provider) (The browser does a good job.)

The roof collapsed in June, 2006, six months after this employee left the RCSC.


In 1986, with only one pool in the room, three of four air handlers were not working and engineers determined humidity to be the cause for the failure of the trusses, which threatened roof collapse. 

In 2006, we had the same scenario except, in the room, there were the Olympic-sized pool, a heated exercise pool, and two steamy spas.  This time the roof actually collapsed.

We can easily conclude that humidity caused the roof collapse.

This information contradicts the opinion that the roof collapsed as a result of "material defects." 

Insurance covered the roof replacement in the 1986 incident; it should cover the 2006 incident, as well.  The cause is the same: Humidity.

UPDATE 5/28/08:

Our opinion was shared by the Judge in the Cincinnati Insurance vs. RCSC lawsuit.

(Click here to read the opinion piece, "Vindicated?  Not Exactly", by Anne Randall Stewart.)

(Click here for Judge's Opinion and Order -- 16 pages 24.65 MB.)

UPDATE 3/25/09:

Allegedly, there was a settlement check for $4.3 million, which was not confirmed or denied by the RCSC board.  Allegedly, the repairs to the Sundial roof came in at $4.5 million, and there was an additional $1 million spent on upgrades without a membership vote.  The board is "hush-hush" because they claim "sanctions" will be levied against them by Cincinnati Insurance if the amount received became "public."

Contact Anne Randall StewartPHONE_Ringing.GIF
 Phone: (623) 933-6192
Cell: (602) 318-0708



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