On Tuesday, November 3, Boscobel School District residents will be asked to vote on a referendum question requesting $6.9 million for repairs and upgrades to the district’s five buildings.
We are covering each section in detail in installments. Part one covered the heating and cooling systems and was run in the Sept. 10 issue of the Boscobel Dial. Future installments will cover lighting, audio-visual, life safety, and communications systems, as well as financing.
Part 2, exterior repairs
Portions of the middle school and high school plumbing are in very poor condition, according to Adam Laurent of H&H Energy, the contractor selected to manage the projects covered by the referendum.
“Most of the piping in need of repair is galvanized steel, which can have a service life of 30 years, depending on the water quality,” Laurent said. “What needs replacement is largely what was initially installed, which makes it 55+ years old. Portions are pretty corroded. They are leaking and will continue to do so.”
Repiping is the most expensive portion of the plumbing projects, accounting for $580,117 of the projected total cost of $781,266.
The other plumbing projects include a new water softener at the elementary, efficiency upgrades to some fixtures and valves, and new sewer lines with drainage regarding at the high school-middle school.
Currently, the aged sewer lines leading from the front of the school toward the city sewer main are badly damaged and working improperly. The problems are aggravated by drainage from the surrounding landscape which channels water toward the front of the school, according to Laurent.
The exterior repairs recommended by H&H, and included in the referendum, would include repairs to portions of the school roof and the bus depot at the high school-middle school.
At $193,789, the project would replace failing metal paneling in three areas of the high school-middle school, as well as a replacement of the metal panels of the bus depot.
“These sections of roof are not like the rest of the roof, they are metal panels of a lesser quality than the rest of the roof,” explained Dan Maki of Facility Engineering, Inc. “The selections selected are all experiencing perforation due to corrosion and there is water penetrating the structure.”
The roof sections on the school are areas that were rebuilt to give them slope in the past. The original flat roofs still exist and had insulation placed on them, according to Maki. The roof and insulation are helping keep the moisture from leaking through the ceiling and into classrooms, but “that also hides underlying problems,” Maki noted.
“We can maintain the existing roof structure and take care of any moisture issues when we restore the metal roof, which is the least expensive route to resolve the corrosion and moisture issues,” Maki said.
The project would also add additional insulation in those areas.
Bricks and mortar
Another portion of the external structure projects is the repair of bricks, mortar, and grouting on the school buildings. The most noticeable are sections on the Rock that were improperly repaired, according to Maki.
“The Rock is the most prominent example because the mortar between the rocks is readily apparent, it is part of the structure’s aesthetic,” Maki said. “The recipe for mortar at the Rock is more sensitive. Some of the past work didn’t take that into account. Mortar recipes have changed over time. What was used when the Rock was built was different than what was used in the repairs. This creates problems and can cause seriously undermine the materials around the repairs.”
The areas needing mortar and grout repair are susceptible to moisture problems, Maki noted. That particularly becomes a problem during the winter when freezing and thawing between bricks or rock can exacerbate the process of erosion and degradation.
“We are not looking to rejuvenate all of the mortar, it just is not critical to do all,” Maki said. “We are only looking at those areas that are in need of repair right now.”
Windows, doors and caulking
The remaining exterior projects involve weatherproofing.
“These what we call inside embellishments,” Maki said. “They are new concepts applied to older buildings to make them more efficient and to mitigate issues that can arise from drafts – energy loss, in terms of heating and cooling, and moisture.”
Again, the bulk of repairs are focused on the high school-middle school structure, with replacement of all windows and select external doors and upgrading and repair of weather stripping on all other external doors. The project would also replace the front windows on the east and west sides of the Annex, repair and upgrade weather stripping on all single-hung windows at the Rock, and replace all the elementary windows. It would also repair degraded external caulking at all the buildings.
External repairs and upgrades are projected to total just over $1.1 million.
Related article: Contract questioned at informational meeting and walkthrough