VIENNA- A $2.7 million roof replacement project for Wood County Schools is under way and making progress.
In April the Wood County Board of Education approved a plan to replace roofs at a half dozen area schools this summer using money originally set aside to cover other post-employment benefits, also known as OPEB. In May the board was informed it would not owe that money to the state, so instead officials earmarked $2.7 million of the set-aside funds for roof projects.
Work began the day after Memorial Day on Jackson Middle School, said Sue Woodward, assistant superintendent of school services. Several sections of roof are being removed and replaced, and the first section of roof replacement is expected to be completed by the end of next week.
Photo by Michael Erb
Workers carry tiles atop a roof at Jackson Middle School. The school is the first of six to have work done as part of a $2.7 million summer roof replacement project for Wood County Schools.
Woodward said the existing roofs at the school were put on the building in the early 1990s but have suffered damage due to age and sun exposure, making them difficult or sometimes impossible to repair. The building itself was built in the 1970s.
Workers also found other issues when the old roofs were removed. The roof itself was not anchored to the walls in a way that would meet code today," she said. Instead the roofs used rock ballast and gravity to hold them in place.
"We are now bracing those roofs and anchoring them to the walls," she said. "Those were unforeseen costs."
The rock ballast is being moved to Erickson All-Sports Facility to be used in its parking lots, she said.
This week work began on the roof at Madison Elementary School and Woodward said in the weeks to come work will begin at Lubeck Elementary, Gihon Elementary and Criss Elementary schools.
The final stage of work will be at Emerson Elementary School, but "that may not start until this fall or later," Woodward said.
All of the current roofs are being replaced with 20-year roofs, Woodward said. Bids for all six roofs came in slightly above the $2.7 million budget, but Woodward said there simply was not money to pay for more.
"By taking out a few things we got them under budget and gave ourselves some roof in case there are extra costs," she said. "We are trying to make the money go as far as it can go, but we don't want to shortchange the roofs that are being done."
Woodward said emergency roof repairs have been made this summer at Franklin Elementary Center and Hamilton Middle School. Those repairs were not part of the $2.7 million project, but instead came out of the general repair fund.
Woodward said in both cases the repairs were needed to avoid more costly damage to buildings or items contained within the buildings. Both schools are considered next in line for full roof replacements if and when funding becomes available, she said.