As the hearing over whether to raze the unfinished Harmon Hotel plodded through its third day, Perini Building Co. injected a surprise by unveiling a temporary $2 million fix to keep it standing in the event of a serious earthquake.
Perini, general contractor on the $8.5 billion CityCenter that includes the Harmon, has long insisted that it could and would fix any structural defects but previously had not laid out specifics.
Steve Schiller, president of the engineering firm John A. Martin & Associates of Nevada, outlined from the witness stand the $2 million patch that would take six-to-eight weeks to complete. The firm, hired by Perini for the case, essentially calls for constructing eight columns, bookended metal plates, from the base of the fourth floor to the subterranean foundation as a way to absorb any seismic shocks and transfer them harmlessly to the ground.
The repair was not proposed as a permanent solution to the building's flaws, but as a way to keep it stable through a larger trial over CityCenter's construction next year.
By contrast, CityCenter half-owner and developer MGM Resorts International determined last year that the Harmon would collapse in a strong quake and can't be fixed in an economical way. It favors implosion at a cost of $30 million.
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