Poor condition of Merritt roof causing problems for Brandywine

Published 10:17 pm Tuesday, August 10, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES - The Brandywine Public Schools Board of Education held a special meeting Monday to discuss a roofing problem at Merritt Elementary, which will require additional work to be done.
The original plan called for the removal and replacement of the "old, built-up layers" of roofing at the school.
Richard Hebard, architect with the South Bend, Ind. based Hebard &Hebard, notified the board that the contractor discovered some "bad areas" of the gypsum deck while they were getting ready to start the Merritt roofing project.
These areas need to be replaced due to extensive damage caused by the pooling of water in certain spots of the deck, he said.
Hebard gave the board two options to address the roofing issue: the total removal of the gypsum deck and construction of a new metal deck or the patching of the damaged areas of deck.
Hebard and Steve Orlando, project manager for Skanska, recommended the patching technique as a more feasible option for the district.
The other option of a new metal deck would cost about $250,000. Hebard said this option would open up the roof and expose it to the weather and would also take more time to complete.
The "bad areas" will be replaced with a sandwich layer of materials, which include a substance called dens-deck.
Orlando told the board it was uncertain how much of the roof deck would need to be replaced, but based on test cuts they estimated an area of 25 percent of the deck would need repairs. If this estimate is correct, the repairs will cost about $185,000, but he said the project could cost anywhere from $60,000 to $200,000.
Orlando said this new development should not affect the Sept. 7 start date for the 2004-2005 school year.
Repairs will begin as soon as the required materials are received.
Damaske said if roofing work at Merritt overlaps into the school year, it will either have to be done on an after hours basis or the roof will be sealed up and work will continue next year.
This additional work will be paid for out of the bond project's contingency fund, an amount set aside for unforeseen events.
Damaske said there is currently about $598,000 in the contingency fund.