School board approves Maple Hill roof project

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The Board of Education voted to approve a new roof for Maple Hill School at its June 9 meeting.

NAUGATUCK — Maple Hill School may be getting a new roof.

The Board of Education voted June 9 to replace of the current roof, which is 22 years old and showing signs of deterioration.

The plan still needs approval from the Five Year Capital Improvement Committee, which will work to investigate financing options for the project, according to Mayor Robert Mezzo.

Representatives from Kaestle Boos Associates, Inc., an architectural firm the town has worked with in the past, presented a plan to fix the roof which would cost the town $350,000. The actual cost of the project would be $899,000 with $617,000 reimbursement from the state.

Richard Kirby of Kaestle Boos said the slope of the roof would need to be changed from a quarter-inch slope to a half-inch slope to comply with current regulations. The new roof would be covered with a white reflective polyvinyl chloride membrane. Cracks in the school’s walls would also need to be patched before putting a new roof on the building. Kirby said the roof’s drains already satisfy existing codes and there is no asbestos to worry about.

The current rubber roof has patches that are lifting up as the rubber looses its natural oils over time.

Kirby recommended purchasing a 30-year warranty on the new roof. The current roof only had a 15-year warranty, but new construction methods mean the new roof should last a lot longer.

If the roof isn’t replaced, leaks could lead to mold problems as snow piles up and melts next winter, Kirby said.

“A winter like this would be catastrophic,” he said.

Mezzo said Controller Wayne McAllister is looking into a lease-purchase agreement similar to a home equity loan where the town would spend only what it needs. By contrast, if the town paid for the project through a bond, it would be obligated to pay fixed amounts over the bond period, even if the project came in under budget. The debt service on the project isn’t included in the budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

If the project is approved, construction would probably start in late summer going into the fall, according to Kirby. Once school starts, construction would only occur after hours and on weekends, he said. It would not disrupt the educational process, Kirby said. The project would take about two months, he said.