By Lauren Williams Staff Writer
April 1, 2014
After pursuing roofing projects at both L.C. Kerr and Butler Avenue schools for some six months now, the Clinton City Board of Education has taken another step forward in getting both projects completed, recently approving a contractor’s bid for both roof replacements.
During a work session last week, Randy Baker with Pinnacle Architecture — the company to which the city school board, back in February, awarded the architectural design contract for the two roofing ventures — talked with school board members about the work to be done at the two schools and the cost of that work.
Five contractors submitted bids for the roof replacement projects. The lowest base bid came in at $115,600 from Alpha Omega. The price included removing the shingled roofs on both the third grade building at Butler Avenue and the Kindergarten building at L.C. Kerr and then replacing them with new shingled roofs. The project at Butler Avenue would account for $39,000 of the total cost while the project at L.C. Kerr would use up the remaining $76,600.
In addition to the base bids, school board members also had to consider two alternates, one being to also tear off and replace the existing low slope, single ply membrane roof on the main building at Butler Avenue for an additional $112,400. The second alternate, which would add another $95,000 to the alternate one price, gave board members the option of having a metal roof installed instead of a shingled one.
“Since the building is shingled and has been prepped for shingles, I recommend you stay with shingles,” advised Baker as he and the school board discussed Butler Avenue’s main building’s roofing need. He then went on to call the metal roof “the most leaking roof we put on,” due to problems that arise primarily from the flashing component required for that type of roof.
School board member Randy Barefoot inquired as to the quality of the shingles to be used. Baker replied that the new shingles would be a “high profile, architectural shingle,” not pre-fabricated, with a 20 to 25 year warranty.
Board members were also interested in just how much of the existing roof would have to be torn off. Baker explained that the plan was to remove only the membrane roof, leaving the insulation alone and only patching it where the contractors saw a need.
“Looking at the roofs now is a good thing,” he assured the school board, acknowledging that if they had continued to postpone addressing the roofing issues at L.C. Kerr and Butler Avenue, they might have ended up facing major problems, ones deeper into the roofs’ structure.
Barefoot made a motion to award the base bid and the alternate one bid to Alpha Omega. School board vice chairman E.R. Mason offered the needed second. The motion passed unanimously.
The city school board and central office staff has been working to address the two schools’ roofing issues since last October when they first brought requests for funding to county commissioners. The system’s requests were tabled until commissioners revisited them a month later. In November, school board member Randy Barefoot and Locklear stressed the poor state of the two schools’ roofs to commissioners; Barefoot referred to a study by JKF Architecture performed in 2001 which recommended that the roofs at Butler and at Kerr be replaced in 2014 and 2015, respectively, taking into account their age and overall condition. Performing their own re-evaluation in June 2013, REI Engineers Group agreed.
“There have been some repairs, but due to the age of the shingles and its deteriorating, it’s going to be hard to go in there and make repairs,” explained Locklear then. “That’s why they advised that we’re going to throw in good money after bad if you try to do a wholesale repair on the roof. You can see patched areas where shingles are being lost and the deterioration has just continued.”
“The ultimate goal, with a fixed amount of money, is to get as many things done as possible,” said Blount during the school board’s February work session, stressing the need to eliminate, as best they can, going back to the county to ask for additional funds in four or five years.
“We’re trying to take care of a large roofing need,” he continued, adding that the system will strive to do as much as it can with — and be “good stewards” of — the money it has been granted by the county for the projects.
During Monday’s regular meeting, the city school board also approved another contractor’s bid, this time for a new “More at Four” Pre-K classroom renovation project at the system’s historic 606 College St. campus.
Back in December, Locklear shared that plans were in the works to renovate one more classroom at the facility in the old personnel space that used to be housed there when the building used as the city school system’s central services office, bringing the total number of classrooms in the building to four.
The new classroom will “get them (one of the pre-K classes) into a classroom and off the stage of the multipurpose room,” he noted then.
Out of the two bids submitted for the renovation work, the lowest came in at $59,000 from Muter Construction. Again, the board had an alternate to consider — an extra cost of $14,913 to also replace a HVAC at the College St. school, bringing the total cost to $73,913.
With little discussion, Barefoot made a motion to award the renovation work and the work required for the replacement of the HVAC unit to Muter Construction which Mason seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
School officials previously shared that, if a contractor could be secured by the time the 2013-14 school year ended, then the plan was for the contractor to do the renovation work during the summer while school is out and be finished by the time students and staff return in August.
In February, school board chairwoman Georgina Zeng inquired if there were any renovation plans being made for the campus’ other building, an auditorium/multipurpose room located near the back of the property.
Locklear shared then that hopefully the school system would soon be able to do “some sprucing up of the old auditorium” which will continue to house two pre-K classrooms.
Lauren Williams can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 117 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.