Orion Center costs the township $1,000 to repair

By Meg Peters
Review Co-Editor
The Orion Center is scheduled to reopen July 1 after almost $750,000 in repairs and modifications have been made due to a flood in February.
Cost to the township was only the $1,000 deductible after the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority (MMRMA), the township’s insurance provider, processed the claim.
“The insurance company already investigated, and this is what they found, and there is no problem with the claim,” Orion Township Operations Director Jeff Stout said.
What they found was that someone had left an access door open to the un-insulated attic space in the ceiling above Dining Room B.
When the freezing air on Valentines Day was sucked back into the HVAC system, which is never exposed to freezing temperatures, it caused the water inside pipes of the fire suppression system to freeze.
The line broke and flooding caused extensive damage to the first and second floors.
Montgomery & Sons Fire and Windstorm Restoration Contractors of Orion Township have replaced all of the drywall, and are finishing the mud coats right now, Stout said.
The township’s contractors will begin the painting process soon, after the new floor tiles and paint squares arrive. Moisture samples have been taken throughout, and the entire building has been blueprinted.
“All of the new casings and moldings are on site, new insulation was placed, there is absolutely no moisture left in the building. They are making very good progress,” Stout said. “The good news is nothing structural was damaged. It’s basically was all paint, carpet and drywall, which is really good.”
He added that the HVAC system is working perfectly.
A few other improvements were made within the Orion Center too.
When Montgomery & Sons started demolishing the walls they found six drain clean- outs that were not functioning properly. One didn’t have a top cap on, and sewer gas was leaking within the walls, which was rectified.
“There were also several primer traps that were buried in the wall with their valves so we fixed those, and we extended a couple outlets in places, but for the most part it’s going back as it was,” Stout said.
Everything within the Orion Center, including important files and electronic equipment, was removed, cleaned and stored prior to the renovations.
About 90 percent of the Orion Center’s community and senior programming has been hosted by other organizations throughout the township, including the Lake Orion Community Schools buildings, Woodside Bible Church, and the Orion Township Public Library, to name a few. Programming is expected to resume at the Orion Center in July.
“Nobody wanted this to happen, but in the long run we will be in better shape. This is a good opportunity to thank all of the community groups who have been very cooperative in taking our courses and classes. There’s been a lot of good teamwork,” Orion Township Supervisor Chris Barnett said.
“Our records are safe too, a company came and made sure they were dried out, so everything is being resolved right down to the last piece of paper,” Clerk Penny Shults said.