ALTON – Work has begun to correct problems with portions of the roof at the Central School.
Superintendent Bill Lander said Wednesday that work has already begun to shore up the rafters in the school's so-called 1956 wing, which houses classrooms for grades 3 and 5. In addition the work on the roof over the art and music rooms at the school will also be undertaken.
Lander said when the roof of the 1956 wing was inspected this past spring the rafters were found to be faulty. He said the rafters would be shored up with "sister rafters." In addition the roof will be removed and a new roof installed.
Other improvements to the wing will be new lighting, along with the installation of some basic piping which would be part of a sprinkler system which school officials are hoping to install sometime in the future when funds are available.
The cost of the work in the 1956 wing is expected to be about $415,000, based the apparent low bid submitted by Laplante Builders Inc. for the work, according to the minutes of the July 8 School Board meeting when the project was approved.
Also the shingles on the art and music room roofs will be replaced. The cost of that phase of the work is still unclear because only one contractor bid on that job and so the board decided not to open the bid which would have made the bid price public. "... this would have been unfair to the contractor should he re-bid on the project. This project would be added to the 1956 wing project, and the contractor can submit the same bid," the minutes of the meeting state.
Lander said that so far work which has been under way since July 15 has been going smoothly. He said that the plan is to have virtually all of the work completed by the time classes resume on Aug 27. He said while some residual work might still need to be done after that date, it would not interfere with classes.
Lander said that concerns about the rafters in the 1956 wing were cited in an inspection conducted in 2008. That inspection recommended that the condition of the rafters be reviewed at a later date, which was done this past spring, he explained.
Last March Alton voters rejected a plan to extensively renovate and expand the K-8 school at a cost of $18.7 million. Landers said that the School Board would be looking at other building needs as they begin building the 2014-2015 budget, but he said no such discussions have yet taken place.
The building proposal, which failed by a 685-731 vote, would have entailed renovating more than 65,000-square-feet of the existing school and construction of 28,347-square-feet of new space.