The Board of Finance on Tuesday voted unanimously in support of nearly $2.2 in bonding for the replacement of the roof at South School—a project that’s expected to take place this summer and to be completed by the start of next academic year.
As Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi had outlined during the budget season just passed, the 20-year-old roof has reached the end of its useful life and has started to fail, with water coming in through the ceiling in places following heavy rain.
The project, which is expected to come in at about $2 million, went out to bid in January and will be completed by North Haven-based Greenwood Industries Inc., New Canaan Public Schools Director of Finance and Operations Dr. Jo-Ann Keating said. The overall $2,046,000 figure is less than the nearly $2.2 million that town funding bodies approved in the capital budget for fiscal year 2020—it represents $1.6 million with a 20% contingency and $100,000 in soft costs, according to Keating. The town will only bond what is spent, officials said.
The district is pursuing a 30-year roof instead of a 20-year roof, and is opting for “an adhesive attachment system rather than a mechanical fastener, so we would not be putting screws into the decking,” Keating told the finance board during its regular meeting.
“One of the things that you should be aware of is that this roof is primarily concrete decking, but we do have a lot of steel in there as well,” she said. “And so we are pulling up a damp, wet roof that is on there now.”
The Board of Finance voted 7-0 in favor of the bonding resolution. Those voting included Tom Schulte, George Blauvelt, Amy Murphy Carroll, Buzz Kanter, Chairman Todd Lavieri, Secretary Judy Neville, Vice Chairman Bob Spangler and Maria Weingarten.
Finance board members asked Keating and NCPS Manager of Facilities Operations Dan Clarke what accounts for the 10-year difference in the life of the roof (thickness of the membrane), how much it cost to get the adhesive membrane rather than one that’s nailed in ($150,000), whether there’s a savings in labor by going with an adhesive (the major change in costs has to do with the material itself), whether the four project bidders were aware of what the town was budgeting for the project at the time they turned in their bids (no, though they were all right around the same figure), whether Greenwood has ever done work for the district before (no but they’ve done a lot of public projects, including at Danbury High School, and come highly recommended by trusted sources), where that company is based (Massachusetts with two Connecticut offices) and whether there’s a penalty if the job isn’t finished on time (these things are weather-related when it comes to roofs).
Murphy Carroll asked whether the South School roof would get solar panels.
Keating said yes, though it’s unclear just now how many panels will go onto the roof, which has 25 different roof systems.
The district is working with a structural engineer to make a determination and “make sure that it is distributed appropriately and the roof can handle it.” In the end, the solar panels should yield some 350 kilowatts, she said.
The solar panels “should extend the useful life of the roof,” Keating said.
She said the district is hoping that the project gets underway June 18, just as school closes.
The bond package must also be approved by the Town Council.