South Putnam Board split on moving forward with roof repairs

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The South Putnam School Board’s vote on a proposal from Insulated Roofing Contractors (IRC) to make repairs to portions of the high school roof was split, with President Wes Hacker and Holly Hutcheson voting against and Secretary Dave Bombei and Anthony Heavin voting for, in a recent special meeting.

At the suggestion of Superintendent Bruce Bernhardt, the board agreed to have Dan Kramer, of Kramer Consulting, clarify items in the proposal with IRC.

IRC proposed installing about 1,850 square feet of new silicone/polyurethane insulated roof system with a 10-year BASF warranty at a cost of $7,340.

Points of clarificiation were whether IRC would remove tapered insulation and what exactly the $7,340 would pay for. After reading portions of the original BASF warranty, the board said the school should not be paying for any repairs to the roof since they were caused by water damage.

The warrany reads, “BASF Corporation expressly warrants ... the BASF Polyurethane Roof System ... will remain free of water leaks which are due to deterioration of the System resulting from ordinary or improper workmanship in its installation .... BASF will, at no expense to the building owner, repair the Dow Corning Silicone Coating and/or the BASF Polyurethane Foam to correct water leaks which are due to deterioration of the system, improper workmanship, or defects in the system components, during the time of the warranty period.”

Maintenance Director Jim Samsel said that $2,650 of the proposed cost would purchase the 10-year warranty and the rest of the cost would bring the other areas of that section of the high school roof to a condition where the new warranty would apply.

In answer to questions from the board, Kramer said that the proposed work would be a good route for the school to take if money is an issue (the board said it is) and the board wants the repairs made now. But he also recommended installing a completely new roof (which would cost about $150,000) and advised that the work does not have to be done immediately.

The roof repairs are part of a larger project making infrastructure improvements throughout the South Putnam Community School Corporation that began in June 2017. Work on the Fillmore Elementary School roof, parts of the Central Elementary School and parts of the South Putnam High School roof started in September.

The Fillmore, Central and portions of the high school roof are complete, but work on the parts under discussion in the special meeting were postponed due to warranty issues.

In 2012, the corporation hired IRC to remove the rock ballast and repair these roofs with a spray foam. At a special meeting July 5, Kramer reported that after it removed the rock ballast that keeps the rubber covering down, he could not find anything IRC had used to hold the rubber and foam cover to the metal roofing beneath (meaning it could blow away in strong winds). In addition, the foam was letting in water.

BASF has since performed its own evaluation and reported no water in the roof.

Immediate funds for the project have come from the rainy day fund (which at that time had $1.5 million), but the school is set to reimburse that fund by December with the sale of bonds. Total cost of the project is not to exceed $2 million.

“Because we have some bonds that we’ve been paying on that are going to be coming off in 2018, this will not raise taxes at all,” Superintendent Bernhardt said. “We expect that tax rates will be level or drop some even when we take on this project. But by doing this, the intent is absolutely not to raise taxes by selling bonds in the future.”

In other developments:

-- Absences: Vice President Angie Nichols was absent.

-- Budget: The board unanimously approved adopting the 2018 budget, CPF and school bus replacement plans, resolutions, and CPF notice of adoption.

The next meeting of the South Putnam School Board is set for Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Central Elementary School music room, but there may be a special meeting in the meantime to again discuss the roof.

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