PARKERSBURG - In 1989 Wood County Schools passed a nearly $10 million bond to replace roofs on all of the district's schools.
Now, 20 years later, the district again is looking at roof replacements for its 27 schools and how best to pay for the work.
Lawrence Hasbargen, assistant superintendent of maintenance and facilities, said the district typically does roof replacements every 20-25 years.
The roof at Worthington Elementary School in Parkersburg may be one of those scheduled to be replaced. (Photo by Jeff Baughan)
"You have to judge what the quality of the roofs are after 20 years," he said. "We put in a lot of effort to maintain those roofs to the best of our ability. These are flat roofs, so you have a lot of expansion and contraction. Especially near the exterior walls you can see cracks forming."
Though no estimates have been done on the cost of the potential project, Hasbargen said it easily could be $15 million or more and would include nearly every school in the district, including the recently renovated high schools.
"Portions of those roofs wouldn't need any work, but some would," he said.
Officials have begun work on the district's Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan (CEFP). The plan will guide construction and renovation in Wood County Schools for the next 10 years.
Superintendent Bill Niday said creation of the new plan will be guided by a committee, and roof replacements and repairs will be one of the areas addressed by the group.
"I'm sure that issue will be a major part of the discussion of the CEFP," he said. "It is an issue that will have to be dealt with."
Part of that discussion will center around not only the cost, but how the project would be funded.
"One of the purposes of the CEFP is to determine how you will fund building improvements," he said.
The CEFP then will be used to help the district rank needs and seek funding through state and federal sources, such as the state School Building Authority.
One area where the school system is hoping to secure funding early is at Martin School, which was built in 1985.
"Martin School still has its original roof," Hasbargen said. "We wrote a grant request to the SBA and were told that as funding became available we would be able to move forward with that project."
Hasbargen said there is not yet a timeline on work at Martin School, but the project likely would begin before completion of the new CEFP.