Board to weigh options for roof replacement

Insurance to cover some costs of the repairs

Woodland Regional High School in Beacon Falls. -FILE PHOTO

Woodland Regional High School in Beacon Falls. -FILE PHOTO

REGION 16 — The Region 16 Board of Education received a bit of good news last week regarding the needed repairs for the roof at Woodland Regional High School.

Business Manager Pamela Mangini said at the Dec. 11 meeting the board’s insurance provider, Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency (CIRMA), will cover the $7,200 cost for temporary repairs made on the roof of the school’s art wing as well as the cost of replacing any shingles, gutters and ridge vents.

At its Nov. 6 meeting, the board learned that more than half of the roof at the 12-year-old school is in disarray, leaking in spots and will have to be replaced. The flat parts of the roof are fine, according to officials. 

According to a copy of the roof analysis report, the leaks and deterioration appear to be related to one or more installation errors, such as roofing nails being visible between slots of shingles, or nails that are rusted and loose, allowing water to enter.

About 65 percent of the roof, which is what needs to be replaced, is shingled. Greenwood Industries Inc., of Millbury, Mass., installed the shingles. The statute of limitations on the roof has expired, and if the roof is replaced now the bulk of the cost will fall on the board.

Mangini said the district will be eligible for some state reimbursement to replace the roof when it turns 15 years old. She said officials are looking into whether repairs could be made to postpone some of the work until the district is eligible for reimbursement.

The board won’t be able to hold off on the entire project however.

Region 16 Supervisor of Facilities and Maintenance Dave Langdon said the repairs on the roof of the art wing are working, but it will have to be replaced soon no matter what.

The roof over the art wing was in the worse shape, which is what led the board to authorize the temporary repairs in November.

Langdon said officials are working with the roofing consulting firm Tremco on what the temporary repairs would entail in order to postpone replacing the other parts of the roof for a few years.  

No decision was made last week on how to proceed as the board awaits more information.

Board member Robert Hiscox questioned whether the school is experiencing any mold issues with the roof leaking.

Langdon said there is no major mold issue at the school. There are a couple minor troubled spots on the roof, he said, and the maintenance staff is aware of them and cleans them if any mold appears.

The board is looking to include the cost of the roof work in a bond package that will pay for school security items as well.

The board submitted a grant request to the state for nearly $1.75 million in the early fall to pay for safety upgrades. The region recently received approximately $1,074,596 in grant funds, supplemented by $672,109 of local money, for security upgrades.

After submitting the application, the board pared its security package down to nearly $1.6 million mostly by removing a proposal to buy new digital radios for all the schools.

Mangini told the board the state grant is based on a list of items submitted before officials scaled back the package.

The board doesn’t have to buy everything on the approved list, but won’t receive as much money if they don’t. The board’s share, which is what would be bonded for, would also be less if some items aren’t purchased.

Mangini said the board could request to make changes to the list, but any changes would have to be approved by the state.

Board member Nazih Noujaim said he would like more details on the digital radios that were removed from the list. He felt the board shouldn’t buy them if they are not useful to the district. Even though the district received a state grant for most of the costs, he said, it’s still the residents’ tax money.

The board was expected to discuss how to move ahead with the roof replacement as well as the security items at a special meeting. As of this post, the meeting had not been scheduled.

The bond referendum is expected to be held in March.

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