School officials look to spend $3.35M on roof replacement

Voters will be asked to approve two proposals – a $28.28 million bond and a 5-year, 0.75-mill sinking fund – on the November ballot, both of which would be used to fund a variety of capital improvement projects throughout the Oxford school district.

Should the proposals be approved, officials are looking to invest a total of $30.4 million into transportation, building systems, site improvements, roofing, technology infrastructure, security cameras/access and playgrounds throughout the district.

The Oxford Leader is taking an in-depth look at the projects that have been proposed within each of these categories.

Officials are hoping to spend up to $3.35 million on the replacement of roofing across the district.

According to Superintendent Tim Throne, should the bond proposal pass, the two main buildings that would undergo roof replacements would be Oxford High School and the district’s bus garage.

The district put more than $1.6 million into roofing updates using proceeds from a bond approved in 2009.

Bond proceeds were spent on roofing updates at each of the schools in the years following its approval – with the exception of Oxford High School and Lakeville Elementary. The proceeds were also not not spent on administrative buildings or the district’s bus garage.

The original sections of Oxford High School’s current asphalt shingled roof were first installed around 1998, when the building first opened as a middle school.

When the building was converted into the high school in 2004, Throne said some sections of the school’s roof were newly-installed at that point.

However, he added that many of the building’s original roofing sections– those found over classrooms in the 300, 400, and 500 wings– remain untouched.

“I think an important point to note here is that the majority of the high school’s roof is 20 years old . . . I don’t want people under the assumption that, ‘Well, that building’s not that old. Why are we replacing the roof?’ While portions of that building have been replaced, there are other areas that (still have the) original roofing from around 1997. The roof has lasted its life expectancy and it’s time that we replace those portions of it,” said Throne.

According to Throne, some of the oldest portions of OHS’ roof have long been leaking after heavy rainstorms and have even caused damage to infrastructure and devices within the high school.

“After a major rainstorm, it’s not uncommon to see numerous trash buckets (being used to capture water) in various locations throughout the building,” said Throne. “Some ceiling tiles have had to be replaced.”

Although officials have worked to patch these leaky sections as they appear, Throne said the leaks are likely to become more common as sections of the roof continue to age past their expected lifespan of roughly 20 years.

While Throne said officials would work alongside experts to replace sections of older roofing district-wide, he indicated many of the other buildings’ roofs are in “good shape” with “not much to be addressed.”

“The (vast) majority of the dollars for roofing in this bond would be spent at the high school and at the bus garage, although all of our buildings will be reviewed and replaced as needed,” Throne added. “The ballpark numbers for those buildings range quite a bit, depending upon what kind of roof we replace the current roof with.”

Officials are hoping to replace the roof at the high school with a longer-lasting metal standing seam roof, according to Director of Maintenance Tony Sarkins.

“At the high school… (the building) is on a hill and it gets a lot of high winds. We’ve had sections that have been blown off. It’s hard for shingles at the high school because of that. We’re definitely looking to get a higher quality shingle or even a metal roof,” Sarkins said.

According to Throne, officials would aim to balance cost-effectiveness with durability when determining which roofing materials to use.

“I want to make sure we’re buying a roof that’s going to last 20 years, so that when the next superintendent or administration comes to the voters, they’re not coming to them for the high school roof and the bus garage roof again 20 years from now,” Throne said.

“We want to look and see if there are any smaller sections on the other buildings. While previous work was done on many of our other buildings, we just want to get it tidied up and make sure the roofs are in good standing and (that they) are protecting the investments that we put inside the buildings, along with our students and employees on a daily basis. We want to provide a good, clean, healthy learning environment for them. The better our roofs are, the better our protection is (for) equipment and whatever else may exist in that room.”


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