Woodland roof project put on hold    

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REGION 16 — A building committee formed to oversee a roof project at Woodland Regional High School was dissolved nearly two months after it was appointed.

The Region 16 Board of Education, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect, voted to dissolve the committee last week. The vote wasn’t the result of anything the committee did, but due to officials deciding to hold off on the project.

In the fall of 2013, school officials discovered that the pitched roofs with shingles were in disrepair and leaking in spots. A roof analysis report stated the leaks and deterioration appeared 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.

The roof over the art wing was in the worst shape and has been fixed. Repairs were also done to other parts of the roof.

Officials decided then to wait on the bulk of the work until the district became eligible for some state reimbursement on the project. The school opened in 2001, and districts aren’t eligible for reimbursement on replacing roofs until they are 15 years old. School districts receive more funds from the state when roofs are 20 years old or older.

The region would have been eligible for some reimbursement this year, and the committee was necessary to apply for those funds. However, officials decided the roof is in good enough shape right now and to wait until it’s 20 years old — when they could get more state reimbursement — to replace it.

Over the past few years, voters in the district have approved transferring money from school budget surpluses to the board’s non-recurring capital account. Some of the funds were designated for the roof project.

In a separate motion, the board last week approved maintaining $255,000 in the account for the roof work. From this money, $35,000 will be used to make additional repairs before the roof is replaced when it turns 20 years old.

The motion also reallocated roughly $360,000 from the non-recurring account to pay for planned capital projects, including installing air conditioning at Woodland. The air conditioning will be installed one floor at a time, starting with the third floor, over the next three years, according to the capital improvement plan.

Board member Priscilla Cretella, who voted against the motion regarding the money in the capital account, asked whether air conditioning could be installed throughout the school all at once. She felt the district might get a better price if it does all three floors at the same time.

The cost is projected at $150,000 a year to do each floor one at a time.

Superintendent of Schools Michael Yamin said when the work goes out to bid the district will get bids for doing the entire school at once and each floor separately.