School board advised to reroof high school library

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 7/7/98.

What started out as a reroofing job at the Paynesville Area High School could be more complicated, the Paynesville Area School Board learned Tuesday night at their meeting.

Mike Walijarvi, school architect from White Bear Lake, informed the board that structural engineers feel the present roof above the high school library would possibly not support a heavy snow load.

The district was advised in June by Walijavi to obtain a second opinion and that report was the same.

The high school was built in 1968 and the building codes were updated in 1976 to handle snow drifting loads on roofs where high sections meet a lower roof section.

ďThe present roof is already over- stressed,Ē Walijarvi informed the board. ďEngineers became more aware of this problem two years ago when heavy snows brought many buildings down in the state. This could happen in Paynesville.Ē

Walijarvi told the board the implications are enormous. ďItís not that the building is that poor, just that the codes have changed that much,Ē he added.

Lew Storkamp, building and grounds supervisor, stressed there is nothing wrong with the present roof. The engineers are taking precautionary measures in warning schools of the building code changes.

Walijarvi explained the present roof has a ballast and insulation layer in addition to small rocks (four pounds per square foot) to hold everything in place. The proposed new rubber membrane roof would eliminate the need for the rocks. Storkamp said the district is replacing the ballast roof and rocks with a rubber membrane roof because it is easier to repair. The rocks will be eliminated from the roof, removing some of the roof load.

ďWe are not required to do anything,Ē Storkamp added. ďLast year, we didnít have any snow on the roof. It takes a certain wind direction to pile the snow onto the roof on the west side.Ē

Walijarvi and engineers from Larson Engineering and Structural Design Associates, met with state building code officials to review the situation.

Walijarvi told the board they have three options. They are:
ē The reroofing project for the high school and elementary building could proceed as planned with just the elementary roof being repaired.

ē The district could do both roofs and monitor the problem area at the high school which means shoveling off heavy snowfalls during the winter months; or

ē Repair the roof at a cost of $10,000 or more.

Board chairman Pat Flanders asked if the district couldnít work around the problem area until funding from the state health and safety fund could be explored, instead of doing a rush repair job this summer.

Board member Dean Hanson voiced his concern about not repairing the roof. ďHow would we feel in the event a catastrophe occurred if we had the knowledge and we didnít do anything,Ē Hanson asked the board.

Board member Lowell Haagenson asked if a sloped shed could be designed to cover the area and eliminate the problem area. Walijarvi said the idea could work, but how would the shed be attached to the existing roof. ďThe first strong wind could pick up the shed and land it in the football field,Ē he added.

Walijarvi reminded the board they could encounter the same problem again when they reroof another area of the school.

After further discussion, the board approved proceeding with the elemen-tary reroofing project while engineers studied the high school situation.

The district had obtained eight bids on the reroofing project. Buttweilerís Do-All Company, Alexandria, was the low bidder with a base bid of $71,310. Walijarvi will negotiate with Buttweiler to do just the elementary project now and the high school roof later.

The board also approved Larson Engineering to do a structural study of the high school roof. Walijarvi will report back at the next board meeting on July 14.

In other business:
ēThe board approved a bid of $21,912 for a dust collection system for the high school industrial technology department. The district will be reimbursed 60 percent of the cost from the state health and safety fund.

ēThe board approved hiring someone to thoroughly clean light fixtures, ceiling vents and other areas above eye level at the elementary school.

A board member asked why an outsider had to be hired. Why couldnít the custodians do the cleaning? Storkamp replied the district didnít have enough custodial staff to do the work. In the summer months, substitutes arenít hired when someone is sick or on vacation.

ēThe board approved a proposed compensatory education plan for the elementary school for the 1998-99 school year. The plan involves starting an accelerated reading program for the fourth and fifth grade students. Cost of the plan is about $100,000.

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