Leftover money could be used for new roofs

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The USD 234 Board of Education discussed future roof repairs at all four school buildings during its Monday meeting.

During the board’s first meeting of 2018, USD 234 Superintendent Bob Beckham there is expected to be money left over from the $40.8 million school bond projects that can be used to address roofs. The bond projects are wrapping up with completion of various punch list items. District officials are looking to let bids for roof repairs in the near future.

“It’s every campus in some variety,” he said. “Both grade schools, the middle school and high school all have areas to consider doing roofing projects on.”

Beckham said several roofs have had problems with leaks in recent years, and patching has been done but has not solved issues for the long term. During work on the bond projects, contractors ran into problems with water and leaks found on roofs at the high school and Winfield Scott School in 2016.

“We’ve had some pretty minor issues with leaks the last four years, and those occurrences have escalated,” he said. “We’ve been patching for a long time.”

Beckham, superintendent since 2014, said he is not sure why roof repairs were not in the original scope of the two-year bond projects that began in 2015. A district needs assessment was completed in 2013 to determine what projects needed to be completed.

“They were not in the original scope, but the money is there,” he said. “We can’t put Bandaids on them anymore.”

New board member David Stewart said he thought roofs were replaced following an April 2013 hail storm that struck Fort Scott. Beckham said repairs were made “but there was so much depreciation on those roofs.

“They only pay for the value of the roof,” Beckham said. “We didn’t get a lot of value out of the storm.”

Beckham told the Tribune district officials do not yet have an estimate on how much roof repairs will cost, or exactly how much money is expected to be left over from the bond projects.

“We’ll have a clearer picture of that once it’s specified,” he said. “We’re still figuring how much bond money is left. The bonds sold and performed well. With those specifications we’ll have all of that quantified, then we can say we’re estimating we’ll have ‘X’ amount of dollars to work with.”

Board member Janet Braun said she thinks it is “wonderful we have the funding left.”

Regarding the bond projects, Stewart asked to see a breakdown of work completed the last two years. Beckham told Stewart he would talk with him about the projects at anytime. Stewart said he would like to see a list “on paper.”

“We, or you guys sold it to the public,” Stewart said. “I’d like to see a checklist of what was accomplished.”