Supervisors open bidding process on school roof

Published 8:02 am Thursday, July 15, 2021

The Buckingham County Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved opening the bidding process for repairing and replacement the Buckingham High School roof.

At the Monday, July 12, regular Board of Supervisors meeting, Buckingham County Public Schools (BCPS) Director of Facilities Norman Heslip came before the board to give a presentation on the different options available to solve the leaking problems of the high school roof.

The leaks are located across metal and flat roof sections over the main section of the school, the library, the science wing and the concourse area going into the gymnasium and cafeteria.

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Joining Heslip at the podium was Mark Smith, an architect with Architectural Partners, the company which performed the assessment of the school roof to determine the different options available for repairs.

Supervisors were presented with a variety of recommendations for both the metal roof and flat roof sections of the building. Options ranged from spot-repairing the leaks to a full replacement of the roofs.

After studying the buildings, architects recommended supervisors select option 3 and option 6 of the roof repair strategies.

In option 3, workers would repair roof leaks to the metal roof and then coat the roof with a two-component fluoropolymer. This service would come with a 15-year warranty, and the life of the roof before recoating would be estimated at 20-30 years.

In option 6, workers would remove the spray polyurethane foam (SPUF) section of the flat roof, install rigid insulation and apply an EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) roofing membrane.

Heslip also asked supervisors to consider the installment of a ladder for easy access to the school roof.

The total cost for option 3 and option 6 plus the addition of a ladder was estimated by architects at $1,234,000.

The board unanimously approved the construction work to be advertised for bidding, although it was unclear how much money the school could contribute toward the cost of the project.

“My thought would be, use the $800,000 and then use whatever carryover from the just-closed-out fiscal year that the school board would have in terms of funding it, because I know that’s what it’s going to come down to,” recommended District 4 Supervisor and Vice Chair Thomas Jordan Miles III, referring to the $803,210 of unspent money the school asked board members for permission to use on capital improvement funds.

County Administrator Karl Carter said he agreed with Miles, but added the school likely did not yet know its exact amount of carryover funds from the previous fiscal year. He noted the exact price of the project will not be known until bids are received.

“You won’t know until you bid it out,” he said.

“Our budget is getting kind of tight,” District 3 Supervisor and Chairman Don Matthews said. “We don’t have a lot of extra cash laying around. We want to make sure we’re frugal with how we approach this.”

“I don’t recommend the School Board using all their funds. They may have some unforeseen circumstances come up,” District 6 Supervisor Joe Chambers said. “I think the county should come up with their fair share of it because something’s got to be done.”