STONINGTON — The school district is pursuing partial reimbursement from the state for the Deans Mill Elementary School roof project, officials said.
“We don’t know exactly what will be reimbursed, but it could be up to $300,000,” Superintendent Van W. Riley wrote in a memo to Board of Education members dated this past Friday.
Last month, the Board of Finance approved the spending of $1.2 million to replace the entire roof at Deans Mill Elementary, which has five actively leaking roof systems over the cafeteria, library media center, gym, office and an instructional wing.
On Friday, the Board of Selectmen set a town meeting for March 18, to approve the Board of Finance’s recommendation for funding. The town meeting will be at Stonington High School at 7 p.m.
In his memo, which also was copied to Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance members, Riley said District Operations Manager Bill King has been in contact with the state and “will make sure all of the proper processes occur for potential reimbursement.”
The reimbursement process does have additional requirements like prior approval and certification from a licensed architect and because of the process, Riley wrote, the work on the roof originally scheduled for spring break has to be incorporated in the total project.
“If we move forward with the library media center work in April,” he wrote, “that part of the project would not be eligible for reimbursement.”
Throughout all five leaking areas at the school, leak tents have been set up to collect water. Principal Doug Hammel said the leaks in the roof have gotten significant and “a lot more regular” within the last two years.
“We’re beyond the warranty in all of these areas,” Ken Donovan, the district’s facilities manager, said.
Last week, Riley, Donovan and King met with Gordon Rossi from The Garland Company, Inc., who presented project specifications.
“We reviewed the specifications and I believe we have a plan for a quality roof system that meet all code requirements and will fall within our budget,” Riley wrote.
Although there have been questions raised regarding the flat roof sections of the roof, he said that new codes require a slope of a quarter-inch per foot. While the new wing section of the school has that slope, the old wing, office and cafeteria sections are flat, resulting in “water pooling and leaking.”
Riley said that the new roof system will remedy all of the pooling and leaking. Also, all of the school’s skylights, which were installed in 2010 in 24 locations throughout the roof, will be removed.
The specifications also include a required 25-year full warranty on the new roof so any future issues will be taken care of at no cost.