Why is the roof at Prince Edward Elementary still leaking?

Published 5:46 pm Tuesday, October 18, 2022

FARMVILLE – After one round of repairs, everyone believed the roof leaks at Prince Edward Elementary had been fixed. But then came Hurricane Ian.

After the heavy rain from Hurricane Ian during the first weekend of October, some of the staff of Prince Edward County Elementary School took a look around the school to see if any new leaks came through. Speaking at the October school board meeting, Prince Edward County Schools Director of Support Services Richard Goode said the damage was not as bad as they feared.

According to Goode, there was a leak seen in Building E, but the leak may be from a pipe in the ceiling instead of the rain. However, no leaks were found where the students are in that building, which is a good sign.

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“As far as in the classroom where the students were there were no leaks coming down in the ceiling which is a first for us for a while,” said Goode.

A couple problems to handle

Now staff did find a few leaks, several that had traveled from one side of the school or hallway to the other.

“We don’t know if that was because of the wind or whatever, but (the leaks) weren’t significant, because they weren’t there prior to the storm coming through,” said Goode. “So, we’re keeping a check on those and (we’ll) just see if that wind is blowing in from somewhere. The problem is the water comes in and gets on the metal beams and runs and then wherever it stops running, that’s where it comes down.”

There are also still leaks in Building G, affecting two classrooms. The school plans on getting these leaks repaired and the rooms cleaned for the teachers to move back in and resume use of those rooms. According to Goode the staff expected to find more damage which shows that the repairs being done are holding up and helping the leaking stop.

“But again progress is being made, you just have to be patient,” said Goode. “The water is moving around and we are trying to track it down hopefully without trying to be too expensive.”

Progress on renovations

Fortunately for the students at Prince Edward County Elementary School, a long-term solution is being worked on. These repairs happening to the roof are taking place in order to provide a safe environment for learning while plans for a renovation take place. According to Superintendent Dr. Barbara Johnson, work is moving forward again for the renovations for the elementary school.

At the end of the 2021-2022 school year, the Board of Supervisors, the school board and members from other committees formed a new committee to look over the facility and approve a plan for the renovations. This committee took a break over the summer and is now back and moving forward.

Currently, they are looking at designs and pricing from two groups to decide who will do the renovations.

“The school year was ending, so we put everything on the back burner and we moved past that discussion temporarily,” said Johnson. “Now we started up a new school year and we’re back because we are actively pursuing avenues of making sure that we get a renovated elementary school.”

After narrowing down to two groups to do the renovations, the committee will look at non-binding estimates and decide how to move forward with this project. Money for this renovation project was approved by the Board of Supervisors in the Capital Improvement Plan. In the May Board of Supervisors meeting, the board approved a 6% food and beverage tax that will go toward the renovation project.

“I want to remind everyone here that our goal is to get a beautifully renovated elementary school and we are continuing to aggressively pursue that,” said Johnson.


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