Mt. Solo Middle School roof design flaw costs taxpayers $1.1 million

2013-01-14T23:30:00Z 2013-04-09T18:21:32Z Mt. Solo Middle School roof design flaw costs taxpayers $1.1 millionBy Leslie Slape / The Daily News Longview Daily News
January 14, 2013 11:30 pm  • 

Taxpayers will foot a $1.1 million bill to replace a faulty metal roof that was put on Mount Solo Middle School a decade ago.

Expressing considerable dismay, the Longview School Board on Monday approved a five-year maintenance projects plan that puts roof replacement at the top of the list.

“That seems like a lot of money for a roof that’s not very old,” said board member Skip Urling.

The school opened in 2003.

“It’s a hard pill to swallow,” agreed Nelson Graham, school district facilities consultant.

The current roof has been “leaking from day one,” he said.

Graham said the original roof was the wrong design for the building, and the problems increased during installation.

District financial adviser Larry Mayfield said the roof design was changed at the last minute.

The roof has a long, gradual slope, he said, and is covered in metal sheets that overlap and are spliced together with rivets. As the metal expands and contracts as temperatures change, the tugging has widened the rivet holes, allowing water to leak in.

Repair attempts have improved matters, but not permanently, he said.

A new metal roof would cost about $1.6 million, Graham said, but the district will be using a membrane made from vinyl sheeting or rubberized asphalt roof as a replacement. The nature of those roofs was not immediately available.

Board member wanted to know if the district could recoup some of the replacement cost.

“Is the district footing the entire bill for this fix, or are the contractors who built the structure going to help?” Urling asked.

Mayfield said there did not appear to be any financial recourse, as the district apparently did not purchase a warranty.

“This is what makes taxpayers mad,” board member Barb Westrick said.

The Daily News was unable to reach anyone at Northwest Architectural Co., Seattle, who could discuss the building project. The lead architect, Dale Brookie, has retired, according to an employee with the firm.

Copyright 2014 Longview Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(10) Comments

  1. Commercial Construction Manager
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    Commercial Construction Manager - January 15, 2013 7:12 am
    This flaw has been known for years. As someone who has managed the construciton of countless K-12 scool around the state as well as run facilities for a University in California , I've offered my services to help the District fix this particular problem over 5 years ago. Subsequently I've attempted to offer my services to the District over the years since Facilities is lead by "number crunchers" and not degreed & certified Construction Managers.
    Funny how saving a few bucks costs so much
  2. cowlitz88
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    cowlitz88 - January 15, 2013 8:19 am
    If it was leaking since "day one" it should have been brought up THEN, not ten years later. In that time, a lot of damage can occur underneath, and this could end up costing more. Just what we need as Longview is considering closing schools...
  3. extrucker
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    extrucker - January 15, 2013 10:42 am
    they didnt buy the warranty lololol doesnt that tel u some thing? no no the tax payer should be on be hook fer this make the school pay foe it
  4. Jensdad
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    Jensdad - January 15, 2013 10:44 am
    Who oked the final design change? They should be the ones responsible for flipping the bill for the new roof. "Pretty " and "feasibility" should never be used in the same sentence. Neither should spliced metal in the northwest. But when you know everything you really know nothing.
  5. loretta
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    loretta - January 15, 2013 12:31 pm
    Sounds like another case of "low bidder blues" that the taxpayers will pay double for in the long run. Way to go!.
  6. IN MY OPINION
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    IN MY OPINION - January 16, 2013 9:00 am
    No matter what kind of roof was installed, the warranty should be more than 9 years. It would appear to me that the city needs a new Purchasing Department. Incompetence will not be tolerated.
  7. Texas Roof Guy
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    Texas Roof Guy - January 16, 2013 12:25 pm
    Spliced metal panels is the old "Pre-engineered metal building" way of doing things. There are still metal roofing & metal building manufacturers out there who haven't crawled out of the dark ages and learned what the rest of the architectural roofing community has known for over 30 years: That endlaps leak. PERIOD. There are several high quality and thoroughly tests systems out there that utilize on-site rollformers to create single sheets from ridge to eave with NO LAPS, up to 240 feet.
  8. Cheney119er
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    Cheney119er - January 17, 2013 11:20 am
    I asked Mayor Weber once why all the goverment buildings have flat roofs, pretty stupid design IMO. They don't make sense in California let alone here, nobody's home has a flat roof for obvious reasons. He said the state won't match funds for a gabled roof so the locality bares the whole cost. That's why all the public buildings look like they belong in a desert somewhere, that's what they are designed for through administrative insanity.
  9. concernedLSDE
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    concernedLSDE - January 18, 2013 3:26 pm
    Whether LSD paid for a warranty or not, the materials would have come with one. You can't litterally blame it on being a "metal" roof. There are numorous large builings aroung here with the same type of roof...and no problems. However, you don't just sit on a leaky roof for years on end without a proper result!
  10. American Patriot
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    American Patriot - January 21, 2013 6:54 am
    No big deal. They'll just propose another levy with the "VOTE YES FOR THE KIDS' slogan playing the guilt trip on gullible parents.
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