Leaking School Roofs to Cost $3.8 Million
Madisonville Primary, Vonore Middle, Madisonville Intermediate
As Monroe County continues to climb out of its massive school construction debt, members of the Board of Education caught a broadside during a special workshop on Thursday, learning that leaks, deteriorating shingles, and rotting wood were plaguing at least three of the newer schools’ roofs in the county.
The price tag to fix: $3.8 million.
“It boils down to this,” said Maintenance Director Phillip Carroll in addressing the board, “when these schools were built, the buildings got extremely wet during construction, or else the wood was wet when it was installed.”
Carroll said the three schools were Madisonville Primary, Vonore Middle, and Madisonville Intermediate.
He provided explicit pictures and descriptions that included buckling shingles atop sections of roofing that swayed with dips and valleys, swags in plywood decking beneath shingles that covered rotting spots, “spongy” sections of wood weakened by moisture, uneven ridgelines brought on by water damage, unsuccessful attempts to spread tar over loose and lifting shingles, shingles shedding the protective sand coating, tabbing and drip edges curling and creating entrances for water, loosened nails, and even some shingles that had been hammered down, instead of screwed down, and other shingles that had been attached backwards.
Architect Sam Moser, who had been brought in recently to help evaluate the problems uncovered by Carroll and his department, said Vonore Middle School appeared to have inadequate roof ventilation that was causing excessive heating and cooling and making the entire roof of the 2003-built school to rise, buckle, and push the shingles from the plywood base.
“Rule of thumb,” said Moser, “you need 100 square inches of ventilation for every 100 square feet of roofing, which appears to be a contributing problem at the school.”
Madisonville Intermediate was constructed in 2001 and Madisonville Primary was completed in 2007.
Board member Sonya Lynn said she had earlier asked then-Maintenance Director Charles Underwood if there were any problems that needed to be confronted at Vonore Middle and he had told her there were none. Carroll’s photographs showed otherwise, depicting damaged shingles, decking, and widespread unevenness of large portions of the roof.