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Jul 4, 2012 11:05 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Leaky School Roof Could Cost Eastport South Manor District Millions

Jul 4, 2012 1:08 PM

A leaky situation at the Eastport South Manor Junior-Senior High School in Manorville could force the district to spend several hundred thousand dollars, and possibly more, on roof repairs to the building this summer.

At the Board of Education’s organizational meeting on Tuesday night, ESM’s Assistant Superintendent for Business Richard Snyder announced that the roof in the academic wing of the building was found to have sustained massive damage. The inspection, completed following heavy rains last week, revealed that issues with the roof’s ridge caps and soffits caused large sections of plywood to bend out of place, causing massive leaking, he said.

According to Mr. Snyder, the issue with the roof might date back to when it was installed nine years ago. He said that, when the building was designed, the architecture firm for the project, Burton, Behrendt & Smith Architects of Patchogue, originally wanted a metal roof for the building. But in order to save money, the plans were changed and a shingle style roof was installed instead, Mr. Snyder said.

The district’s new architect, More Contracting and Consulting of Port Jefferson Station, is now speculating that the problem could be that proper ventilation was never installed once the plans changed, causing the roof to warp, according to Mr. Snyder.

“It is really a pretty bad situation,” Mr. Snyder said Tuesday. “We don’t have full details yet, so we are hoping they will be able to fix the roof without having to replace it.”

Officials at BB&S and More Contracting could not be reached on Wednesday due to the holiday.

Although he does not have solid figures yet, Mr. Snyder estimates that it could cost several hundred thousand to repair the roof. He noted it could cost the district several million if the entire roof needs to be replaced.

“Whether or not it can be repaired is debatable at this time,” he said. “Our contractor said he can fix it, but our architect is skeptical and will continue to investigate.”

Currently, the main focus is repairing the academic wing of the building, which spans some 202,000 square feet, Mr. Snyder said. Architects will be examining the rest of the roof over the next few days, and Mr. Snyder expects them to discover similar damage wherever the shingles were installed.

On Tuesday night, Board of Education members questioned whether the district could bring legal action against BB&S Architects. Schools Superintendent Mark Nocero said that, after contacting the district’s attorney, he does not believe the district can file suit due to the statute of limitations. He also stressed that, at this time, officials have not yet confirmed the cause of the leaking.

Mr. Nocero also said that the problem must be addressed quickly because loose shingles could pose a danger to those walking outside the building during storms. The board is expected to pass an emergency resolution this summer to authorize the repairs.

“We are really hoping this can be done with repairs and not have to be replaced,” Mr. Nocero said. “But, at this point, we just don’t know.”

Also on Tuesday night, School Board President Kevin Gleason and Vice President Kenneth Cooke were both sworn into office and began serving their second three-year terms.

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By JenKelly (3), Manorville on Jul 5, 12 9:46 AM
Sounds like an attempt to milk more money from the tax payers....let's impound it and check for safety violations and while we're at it, lets check the warranty ...mmmmm...just sayin
By Truth Warrior (11), Southampton on Jul 5, 12 9:54 PM
Any mention of insurance or does the community just has to pay for everything?
By A_Concerned_Parent (37), manorville on Jul 7, 12 10:23 PM