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Roof replacements could cost SCC district more than $2 million

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Necessary roof replacements could cost the St. Croix Central School District more than $2 million over the next seven years.

The need for new roofs district-wide was briefly discussed at the SCC Board learning meeting on May 2.

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At the meeting SCC Superintendent David Bradley told the board that a recent analysis from the Garland Company projected a cost of $2.2 million to replace the roofs on all three school buildings over the next seven years.

According to the unapproved May board learning meeting minutes, "Administration has identified a number of other facility maintenance needs and suggested that the board consider a referendum to address these needs. It was decided that the superintendent would put together a Facilities Task Force to evaluate all of the district's maintenance needs and put together a timeline for the various projects along with estimated costs."

At the meeting, resident Bob Albright offered to assist with the task force and said he would try to recruit another community member to also serve. Board member David Olson and high school Principal Glenn Webb offered to help and it was mentioned that Building and Grounds Superintendent Greg Green and middle school Principal Scott Woodington would also want to be involved. President Howard Kruschke said that he would help if needed.

Roofing schedule

Bradley sent the News a roofing schedule and the estimated costs associated with each phase of the roof replacement process.

Bradley said the Garland Company contacted the district last fall and offered to do the roof analysis at no cost and no obligation.

"Garland is a roofing company that provides free analysis to schools in hopes of getting contracts to replace roofs that need to be replaced," he said.

According to the analysis from the Garland Company, the district would replace each school's roof by sections of three or four, starting with the elementary school in 2011.

At the elementary school, replacing four sections of the roof in 2011 could cost $190,000-$215,000; another four sections in 2012 could total $260,000-$300,000; and the last three sections in 2013 could cost $215,000-$240,000.

Replacing three sections of the middle school roof in 2014 could total $345,000-$390,000.

Starting in 2015 the high school replacements could start at a price of $335,000-$380,000 for the first four sections; in 2016 another four sections replaced could cost $390,000-$445,000 and the last four sections in 2017 could cost $290,000-$325,000. The current high school roof is only 12 years old, but could potentially cost more than $1 million dollars to replace in the coming years.

The seven year total of all three roof replacements could total $2,025,000-$2,295,000.

Bradley said the initial replacement schedule was set up based on the different roofing types and the different life expectancies of each roof, as the roofs were put on at different times throughout the years.

Bradley said it is crucial that the roofs get replaced sooner than later.

"As I so often say; 'It's shades of grey.' When do the tires need to be replaced on your car? When do you need to replace your shoes? When roofs leak, they often have negative consequences on other parts of the building," he said.

Bradley said there are risks associated with not replacing the roofs in the coming years.

"The rest of the buildings deteriorate due to moisture coming in the buildings. Insulation value is lost and heating costs increase," he said.

Bradley said the board has considered creating a facilities committee or "task force" to evaluate all the future facility and grounds needs over the next few years and to "develop a timeline and projected costs for each project. In addition to roofs, we'll be looking at boilers, flooring, windows, athletic facilities, including the track, etc."

Although the district works on facility and site needs every year, Bradley said, "We're simply getting more people with more expertise involved in the task force to put together a more comprehensive plan than what we currently have in place. Depending on available funding, I would hope we could continue to work on some of the identified items in the summer of 2011."

Bradley said over the next few months the task force will identify what needs to be done and obtain cost estimates.

Bradley said the district has limited financial options for funding the roof projects.

"With our limited budgets, we don't have many options. We are currently budgeting $150,000 annually for these types of facility improvement/maintenance items; but that amount doesn't go very far," he said.

Bradley said a referendum is one of the options he may recommend to the board when considering how to fund the roof replacements.

"It's one of the few realistic options we have," he said. "There are no plans at this time for a referendum; however, I don't know how we can fund what I believe will be the identified need without a referendum."

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Gretta Stark
Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.
(715) 426-1048
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