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Jan 15, 2018 12:49 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Company Wins $3 Million Bid To Replace Hampton Bays High School Roof

Superintendent Lars Clemensen at the Board of Education Meeting on Tuesday. VALERIE GORDON
Jan 16, 2018 11:00 AM

The Hampton Bays Board of Education will spend slightly more than $3 million to replace the roof on the district’s high school this summer.

The $3,040,889 winning bid to replace the two-decade-old roof was awarded last week to Statewide Roofing Inc. of Ronkonkoma, a company that has a good rapport with the district, according to Hampton Bays Schools Superintendent Lars Clemensen. He added that the company, which has repaired numerous leaks to the Argonne Road East school over the past few years, was the lowest responsible bidder of nine companies to apply for the work.

“We are happy to be working with them,” Mr. Clemensen said.

Board of Education members unanimously voted to award the bid during their meeting on January 9.

Though he has not yet received a formal contract from the district, Statewide Roofing President Gerald Curtin said this week that he is looking forward to starting the project. He added that the work on the high school, which was built in 1971, would be completed over the summer and be finished prior to the start of the 2018-19 school year in September.

Board of Education President Kevin Springer explained on Monday that most of the 126,592-square-foot building’s roof is original to the school, with the exception of an addition constructed in 1997. That addition houses 15 classrooms, the second gymnasium and the auditorium.

“We’re ecstatic,” Mr. Curtin said about winning the bid. “Roofs never get better, they only get worse.”

According to Mr. Clemensen, district officials have been setting aside surplus funds since 2011 to finance the work. The district’s roof and heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration reserve, approved by taxpayers in May 2011, currently boasts $3,015,328 in funding, he added. The difference, or $25,561, should be covered by surplus funds from the current year’s budget, Mr. Springer said.

Mr. Clemensen noted this week that the roof replacement price tag came in much lower than originally anticipated. Seven years ago, he said that the district expected the work to cost closer to $5 million. “We wanted to make sure that we planned for the worst and hoped for the best,” he said.

Representatives from Statewide Roofing will follow guidelines set forth by BBS Architects and Engineers of Patchogue, the district’s architect since the construction of the middle school in 2006.

Mr. Clemensen declined to disclose how much the district is paying for the services of BBS. A Freedom of Information Law request filed by The Press on Tuesday was not immediately honored by the school district.

Joseph Rettig, the director of architecture for BBS, did not return calls this week.

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I thought we were going to have a sustainable energy plan for the Town? Why not a solar roof for free paid for by Solar City? They'd be happy to have the contract.
By dfree (805), hampton bays on Jan 15, 18 3:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
Because that's not what the contract asked for when bids were first solicited, probably years ago. It says the original estimating took place 7 years back.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8032), HAMPTON BAYS on Jan 16, 18 7:48 AM
Yes, that sounds about right. Heaven forbid we look at modern methods to save money and pay back bonds -- why would we want budgets and therefore property taxes to go down? Similar to situation in East Quogue where they have a $3 million surplus that they're trying really hard not to give back to taxpayers.
By dfree (805), hampton bays on Jan 17, 18 7:30 AM
No, not heaven forbid. Roof and solar do not have to be done simultaneously. The district did not pursue solar until the plan for the roof was finalized with the intention that putting on solar only to take them off when we redid the roof was counter-intuitive. Now that it is time to replace the roof, the plan was sent to the state education department without solar due to the extensive (nearly two years) review process to get plans approved. The roof was the priority. At the same time, we ...more
By hblc (34), Hampton Bays on Jan 17, 18 10:26 AM
You're misunderstanding dfree. I highlighted the timeline that prevents us from being more forward-looking at this point; the contract has already been awarded and the change that you seek would have needed to be included at the design-stage, about seven years back.

As hblc, there's no reason these two items need to be done simultaneously, but it does make sense to procure solar panels AFTER the roof.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8032), HAMPTON BAYS on Jan 17, 18 10:37 AM
Solar City pays for everything -- the roof, the solar -- the school pays an electrical bill, not more than the current one, to Solar City. There are other sources of similar arrangements. Therefore, electrical generation and roof are in one package. It is now too late. The administration never called Solar City, "energy partners" is a vague CYA term. There is only LIPA. Also, why hide the architecture fee from the journalist? Is this not something you want the public to know?
By dfree (805), hampton bays on Jan 17, 18 5:02 PM
So Solar City would have been our only option for such a project?

That raises greater questions because competition is generally required when spending public funds.

The people in charge are just (as you noted) trying to cover their posteriors. They chose a boring, easy route. Par for the course.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8032), HAMPTON BAYS on Jan 18, 18 9:34 AM
This financing makes it possible for many homeowners and small and medium-sized businesses to install solar panels with no upfront cost and pay less for solar electricity than they currently pay for utility bills. The new fund follows a $305 million cash equity financing closed earlier this month...
This financing makes it possible for many homeowners and small and medium-sized businesses to install solar panels with no upfront cost and pay less for solar electricity than they currently pay ...more
By dfree (805), hampton bays on Jan 16, 18 7:43 AM
"More than 400 schools nationwide have partnered with SolarCity.
School districts across the country are using clean, more affordable energy to reduce operating costs and increase discretionary funds. They’re saving money and using that savings to bring back programs including music and art."
By dfree (805), hampton bays on Jan 16, 18 7:45 AM
Are all of the funds strictly going toward roof replacement/repair or will some be allotted or utilized for heating and air conditioning? Thank you.
By prenzali (1), SOUTHAMPTON on Jan 17, 18 3:22 PM
The smug bureaucrats who think it's beneath them to explain why millions of dollars of local taxpayers money is spent on outdated methods that slow down economic progress are a major reason why the last presidential election resulted in Donald Trump's triumph. I for one am disgusted by politicians who declare they support modern technology but then vote against ride sharing software instead of dirty expensive cabs, declare that it takes 2 years to get approval for a roof designed 7 years ago, with ...more
By dfree (805), hampton bays on Jan 18, 18 8:30 AM
And it's especially upsetting considering that the batteries backing these solar power solutions are being produced in our New York state -- with huge state taxpayer support -- in BUffalo. So a huge opportunity to educate our high school students in the technology of the future, support New York State, and possibly train our local workers is not taken because of bureaucratic nonsense.
"Tesla started making its solar roofing tiles in Buffalo last month, meeting its goal to start shifting production ...more
By dfree (805), hampton bays on Jan 18, 18 8:52 AM
Sounds to me like solar city had the chance to come to the district 7 years ago or whatever when bids were asked for. Pretty sure “free” would’ve won the bid regardless of what “bureaucrats” do or think lol sour grapes over here...rules and red tape are there for a reason.
By Brandon Quinn (191), Hampton Bays on Jan 18, 18 2:03 PM
Yes because we have had no technological innovation in the last 7 years. I'm certain all the school administration is still using the same model of cell phone for their job as they did in 2008 and just because one branch of New York State government funds a huge plant in Buffalo to produce solar roof panels that doesn't mean another branch will not block their use. That actually sounds about right.
By dfree (805), hampton bays on Jan 19, 18 8:13 AM
You're asking that the government (the school) enter into a 20-year agreement to spend tax-payer funds without competition. Imagine the uproar that would follow, even if procurement law was followed to a T.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8032), HAMPTON BAYS on Jan 19, 18 8:22 AM
Actually, what I'm asking is that the superintendent of the Hampton Bays School District who has a compensation package of more than $400,000 a year (salary, health care, pension, other) explore the technological and financial advantages from installing a solar roof, possibly sourced from a New York State funded solar roof tile factory in Buffalo New York instead of retreating behind bureaucratic language that dismisses all alternatives to spending $3 million of taxpayer money.
By dfree (805), hampton bays on Jan 19, 18 9:33 AM
Ohhh, you wanted him to "explore" the alternative? Is there any evidence that Solar City wasn't considered other than the fact it wasn't picked?

Honestly, people who look at multi-million dollar capital projects paid for by tax dollars and think "well, they should've just done it this way!" are woefully uninformed as to the requirements imposed to spend the taxpayer's money responsibly.

It's not walking into the office and shaking palms, dfree. First of all they'd need to issue ...more
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8032), HAMPTON BAYS on Jan 19, 18 9:45 AM
DFree, your (incorrect) citation of my compensation package aside, you're assuming we did not pursue a PPA (power purchase agreement) with companies similar to Solar City. Attend a school board meeting and identify yourself as "DFree" and I will be happy to engage in this conversation. Again, for the anonymous posters in this swamp, I have identified myself. Your assumptions of what was and was not pursued are off-base and incorrect. You're asking that I pursue innovative energy and cost-savings ...more
By hblc (34), Hampton Bays on Jan 23, 18 11:36 PM
2 members liked this comment
Got 'em!
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8032), HAMPTON BAYS on Jan 24, 18 6:13 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By dfree (805), hampton bays on Jan 24, 18 8:55 AM
The last available detailed budget (the link is broken on the website for last year's detail) shows this:
Line 1240: Chief School Administrator: $270,903

Since the Employee Benefits (health, dental, life insurance, etc.) for that year were $11,343,015 and the total budget was $48,171,252. That ratio is 23.5%. Adding 23.5% to $270,903 yields $334,693.

I assume the salary has increased in line with the overall budget over the last 2 years. Also, the benefits for the Chief ...more
By dfree (805), hampton bays on Jan 24, 18 8:55 AM
The LEEDs certification for the Middle School is from the 2009 plan -- when Joanne Lowenthal was Superintendent, bless her soul.

"Attend a school board meeting and identify yourself as "DFree" and I will be happy to engage in this conversation."

Everyone in the Town of Southampton knows what happens when someone who seeks to lower budgets is publicly identified -- just ask Linda Kabot.

"for the anonymous posters in this swamp"

Your argument is that anyone who ...more
By dfree (805), hampton bays on Jan 25, 18 6:55 AM
Yes I understand the process of requesting bids. I also understand that this bid is years old, and was not revised to reflect technological innovation. I think it's particularly sad that the factory making state of the art roof tiles is subsidized heavily by all of us as New York State taxpayers, and we're not even considering the use of this new product in any of the Town of Southampton building projects.

By dfree (805), hampton bays on Jan 20, 18 3:08 PM
1 member liked this comment
Government is a lumbering beast by need and design. We may wind up better off purchasing our own solar panels anyway!
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8032), HAMPTON BAYS on Jan 21, 18 10:08 AM
That's an interesting statement, "need and design". Because we don't need to support the new solar roof tile factory in Buffalo that cost the NY State taxpayer $750 million. And we don't really need to save local property taxpayer money -- it's not as if the new US tax code is designed to penalize high tax states with high local property taxes by limiting the personal deduction of local taxes...wait, what?
By dfree (805), hampton bays on Jan 22, 18 7:45 AM
No, we don't "need" to support anyone.

Nor does the school "need" to save local property tax payer money. They can do that themselves when budget votes come around.

What the school "needs" to do, by law, is spend the tax payer's money responsibily, which by all accounts they've done here. Or is this roof more costly than you expected?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8032), HAMPTON BAYS on Jan 24, 18 6:16 AM
An executive with a $350,000 per year compensation package overseeing a $50 million per year budget should be a good custodian of the folks supplying that $50 million. Both financial and environmental considerations are part of the responsibilities of that executive.
By dfree (805), hampton bays on Jan 25, 18 6:58 AM
"Tesla started production of solar cells and panels about four months ago at its Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo. New York committed $750 million to help build the 1.2 million-square-foot factory, which currently employs about 500 people. The plant will eventually create nearly 3,000 jobs in Western New York and nearly 5,000 statewide, Governor Andrew Cuomo said in 2015."
By dfree (805), hampton bays on Jan 21, 18 9:55 AM
"Net metering
Net metering is available on a first-come, first-served basis to customers of the state's major investor-owned utilities. Publicly-owned utilities are not obligated to offer net metering; however, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) offers net metering on terms similar to those in the state law. New York State law allows net metering for solar photovoltaic systems up to 25 kW in residential buildings, and up to 2 MW in commercial and industrial settings, including systems serving ...more
By dfree (805), hampton bays on Jan 21, 18 9:58 AM
power tools, home improvements, building supplies, Eastern Long Island