Why a new roof is sought for Oroville Elementary School

Supt. Steve Quick

OROVILLE – Back in May of 2011, a facility review committee made up of community members and staff formed at the district to look at facility improvements that needed to be looked at in both the short and long term.

Although there were many items that the committee felt needed attention, most of these items were at the elementary school, with the roof at the top of the list. The roof has been patched and repaired multiple times over the years in different sections. The last major remodel at the elementary school happened in the early 1980’s, when the middle section of the building was built and remodeled, which is now over 30 years old. My how time passes! The north and the south ends of the buildings have received various patches and repairs for many years now, but they are long past their original expected life. Because of this, the building has experienced leaks in hallways, classrooms, and office spaces whenever a good rain happens. This problem continues to become worse. Untreated, we risk damage to the core of our facilities.

The strong recommendation of the facility committee is to put a new roof on the building next summer. We have looked in to several options and have received initial cost estimates to be about $1.3 million to do the entire project. The number can seem rather high until you consider the actual size of the roof, as well as the multiple layers that need to be torn off in many sections. Add in there some potential asbestos issues in one of the layers and the costs definitely rise. During the facility committee’s work, a roofing company came in and studied our roofs and gave us some initial estimates. This summer we had a highly recommended construction management firm also give us estimates, and they both came in about the same.

The district wrote and received a grant from the state last year, which will help with about $100,000 of the project. In November the school board has put a three-year Capital Levy on the ballot for voters to approve. It is our hope that voters in the district will continue to support schools, especially on a project like this that is so desperately needed.

The board realized that the facility committee saw other facility needs in the district, but did not feel comfortable at this time in asking any more than was absolutely necessary from voters. Our elementary school is an aging facility, so remodeling of the facility is inevitable at some point in the future, but with the lagging economy, the board felt the community would have a hard time swallowing any more than the absolute necessity at this time. Taking care of our facilities is something we continue to focus on, but without a good roof overhead, it is hard to protect and maintain the facility.

Of course our biggest assets are the young ones running up and down in the hallways. Supporting the Capital Levy for a new roof will stop leaks that can ultimately create mold and rot issues if not prevented. Our study and the survey we did on our elementary building indicated that the core structure of the building was in good shape, but our top priority now is to protect it, starting with the roof.

As we progress toward the November election, it will be my pleasure to be able to answer questions community members have regarding the levy. In the coming weeks and months, I will be putting more information in the newspaper as well as on our website that will help answer the many questions and concerns that will be raised. As a community member, please do not hesitate to drop by my office, give me a call or send me an email at quicks@chopaka.wednet.edu.