CAES replacing 30-year-old roof; GMUHS begins process

By Steve Seitz
©2016 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Caes roof by s seitz

Crews continue work to replace the roof at CAES on Monday. Photos by Steve Seitz.

Replacement of the leaking 30-year-old roof at Chester-Andover Elementary School is under way, with completion expected to be by early July and plans to replace the leaking decades-old roof at Green Mountain Union High are in preliminary stages. 

Marilyn Mahusky, who chairs the Chester-Andover Elementary School board, said there was no need to go to the taxpayers for the money since the project has been planned for years.

“We’ve been putting money into the capital improvement fund over the years,” Mahusky said in a telephone interview. “We put in surplus funds at first, and then included money in the regular budget approved by the voters. We hope people will understand we were fiscally responsible and avoided bonding for this project.”

She expected the roof replacement to cost around $275,000. “The whole roof’s very bad. We’ve been repairing leaks everywhere.” Mahusky said the roof hadn’t been replaced in 30 years, so far as she knew.

Work on the CAES roof was supposed to begin on Monday, June 13, but maintenance Director Jim Spaulding told the board at its meeting on that night, there would be a delay because materials didn’t come in on time. Even so, Chris Adams, finance director of Two Rivers Supervisory Union, told Spaulding that “the contract’s been signed, so we’re ready to go with it.” The contractor is Vermont Roofing Co. based in Rutland.

Even with the delay, the roof is expected to be finished ahead of schedule. Roofer Raymond Musakis said on Monday, “We’re in our second week, and we expect to be done in another week. The roofing is done in large panels, and actually the roofing part of the job is complete. What we have to do now is replace the metal edging around the roof.”

The new roof is made of a 16th-of-an-inch weather­-resistant rubber membrane, known as EDPM, which is what the old roof was made of. The EDPM Roofing Association claims that a modern EDPM roof can last 50 years.

Early discussions for phasing in GMUHS roof

At Green Mountain Union High School, facilities Supervisor Brendan McNamara said in a phone interview that the aging rubber membrane at that building’s roof is part of the problem.

“When water gets under the rubber membrane, you don’t know where it goes,” he said. “We’ve had leaks in the auditorium and the gym. We’re currently exploring options to have the roof replaced. We’ve had cost estimates from $750,000 to $2 million. If we’re going to that kind of expense, we want the best option for the school.”

Financing for the project has not been settled. “It looks like we’ll have to bond,” he said. “We’ve been in preliminary talks for a while. We won’t be doing it this summer, and maybe not the next.”

McNamara said that due to the roof’s expanse of about 90,000-square-feet, the project might have to be done in phases. “The phases might take a number of years,” he said. “The auditorium might be one phase, and the gym might be a phase.”

Future of CAES White House

White House by Steve Seitz

The White House at CAES may be in for replacement.

Back at the elementary school, there is another problem to be dealt with: What to do with the double­wide outbuilding behind the school known as the White House, which is used for after­school programs, among other activities. But the state has been ordering schools to close these old, supposedly temporary buildings, which may happen to the White House.

Spaulding told the board at its June 13 meeting in the CAES Library that the last fire inspection was good for two years. “That would have been this school year and next school year,” he said. “The fire marshal always wraps up with, ‘The state is going to at some point demand that the schools give them a termination date,’ because these were all temporary buildings 22 years ago.” He added that Peru was forced it get rid of its temporary buildings then predicted “it won’t be long before it becomes a statewide thing and we’ll have to get rid of these mobile classrooms.”

“So we should be planning for that,” Mahusky replied, adding, “Then there’s also the issue of the alarm.”

Spaulding said the White House is not on the school’s fire alarm system.

“If the alarm went off in that building, it wouldn’t tone here,” he said. “So the people in this building would have no idea that there’s a problem out there until someone came into this building saying, ‘Fire!’ The state would rather the White House be directly connected to this building.”

The board agreed to have the building and grounds committee meet to discuss these problems further in mid-­July.

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About the Author: Steve Seitz is an author, journalist and film critic based in Springfield,VT. He has reported local news in the Upper Connecticut River Valley for many years. Steve has been interviewed on NPR's "The Story" for his knowledge of cinematic music. He also has interviewed such cinematic luminaries as James Earl Jones, Jerry Lewis, James Whitmore, Matthew Lewis ("Neville Longbottom" from the Harry Potter films), and an original cast member from every "Star Trek" series, among many others. He is working on other novels.

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