April 23, 2015: FSH Update

There is a lot happening at the Fort Sumter House and we would like to keep you up to date. To begin, we have new halls—specifically, new ceiling grids, ceiling tiles, lamp shades, carpeting, door moldings, floor moldings, and paint.

The picture at the top is the hallway circa 2005. The bottom picture is as it looks today.

Hall Pre 2008Hall 2015

Chris, our Facility Manager, is repairing the fence around the pool.

2015 fence

And resident Connie Likes has created beautiful flowers at our front and rear entrances and in the pool area.

2015 flowers

Some may not know that we have security cameras in common areas including the parking lots and exterior doors, but not the halls and stairs. Video is stored so we can review when problems arise.

2015 security cameras

The shrubbery around the S. Battery parking lot is being refreshed with new plantings, fertilizers, trimming, watering system, and mulch. Will send pictures when this is done.

The Fort Sumter House has limited space for bike storage. In order to provide storage space to all residents there will be a limit of 1 bike per resident stored in the bike room. Also, FSH now owns several bikes that have been donated. They can be used by residents if they sign a waiver and check the bike out and in. We encourage residents who keep a bike in the bike room but rarely use it to remove it and take advantage of the FSH bikes instead. Bikes may not be taken through the lobby and halls. The Fort Sumter House assumes no liability for bikes. The policy is posted here: http://fortsumterhouse.org/?page_id=1269

We have had some security issues in the Murray Ave parking lot and because of this we are beefing up security by setting up cones from 1-6am and enhancing the camera currently covering this area. If a resident wants access to this parking lot between 1 and 6am they will need to call the security guard at 843-723-0064. We will continue to evaluate the effectiveness of this solution.

Dick Donohoe created the collection of B&W photos which are currently hanging in our common area hallways on floors 2 through 7. Some residents want to hang more pictures in their hallway. The Board has agreed to let owners add more of these pictures at their own expense. However, to maintain continuity, we require that owners use the B&W photos from Dick’s collection, use the same frame and matting as in the existing pictures, and obtain agreement from other owners on your hallway. If you and others on your hallway wish to add more of these pictures and agree to pay for them, please contact Beth Dixon at beth.dixon@gmail.com for more information.

When you use the green buggies please make sure your return them clean.

When we installed the new air conditioning system in May 2013 one of the benefits was supposed to be a reduction in electricity costs to operate it. We are happy to report an 11% reduction in kilowatt hours (KWH) used comparing 2012 and 2014 data. However, we have a different system for heating the building: heat strips. Unfortunately, during this same time period KWH used to heat the building increased by 19%. This resulted in an overall increase in KWH used of 4%. There are many factors that contribute to how much electricity is used and how much it costs. For example, cents per KWH increased 1.4% from 2013 to 2014 and winter temperatures in 2014 were colder than 2012. To keep your electricity costs down: (1) When you are away keep your cooling on in the summer to avoid mildew and mold but keep it at 80-82 degrees. During the winter keep your heat on but keep it at 60-62. (2) When you are in residence SCE&G recommends setting your temperature at 78 in the summer. They estimate that at 77 degrees your cost increases by 10%; at 76 it increases by 21%; at 72 degrees your cost is 69% more. In the winter they recommend setting your temperature at 68 degrees. At 70 degrees you pay 13% more; at 72 you pay 28% more; at 78 you pay 75% more.

Flashing on our roof is either damaged or missing which could cause damage to our building. We will have this fixed in the next month or two.

You may have noticed the green on the north side of the building. As soon as the flashing is replaced the entire building will be pressure-washed.

Chris repaired water leaks in the pool skimmers and treated the water. The pool is open as of today (4/23/2015). The Pool Rules are located here: http://fortsumterhouse.org/?page_id=312

They have been giving us more problems and we are having them evaluated to help determine the best course of action.

They are old and don’t always latch properly even though we have had door experts do their best to get them to work properly. As a result we have had security issues. Please make sure the front door is latched after you come through it. We are mindful of security and are investigating new front doors. Will keep you posted.

We have had issues with water leaking into the lobby and apartments from the second and third floor terraces. These terraces are not properly sloped and patching is increasingly ineffective. We are currently soliciting bids to correct the slope and leakage. We also need to repair deteriorated railings.

As you can see, we are working to keep the building in good shape, while being fiscally prudent. We are also in the early stages of creating a more comprehensive long-term plan that goes beyond simply fixing things when they break. We welcome your comments and ideas.

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One Response to April 23, 2015: FSH Update

  1. Craig Roskam says:

    Hi to all Board Members…..

    I am writing with praise and kudos for your publishing of “The Fort Sumter House Guide”, which just arrived here in the northern forests (Vermont). It is very complete, readable and bound to help each of us. Thank you for your efforts and fine work….

    Craig and Nancy Roskam

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