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.