YORK RUN — The Albert Gallatin Area School Board resolved to seek roofing manufacturers and consultants for proposals to address replacing the roof of Smithfield Elementary School.
Amid discussions of the school’s potential closure if the roof is not replaced, the board last week took a step towards obtaining additional proposals for a replacement project after receiving a price tag between $765,000 and $825,000 from one company last month.
District Superintendent Chris Pegg said he will contact multiple roofing companies about addressing the board at its December work session regarding products they offer and potential project costs for performing work at Smithfield.
Solicitor Lee Price suggested the board seek an independent roofing consultant for guidance in selecting the best option and to write the project specifications if the board decides to put the project out for bid.
“You need advice on how to go with this considering your financial condition and what you can afford to do,” said Price.
Last month, a representative from the Garland Co. Inc., which had developed a roof management plan for the district, recommended a roof replacement at Smithfield due to excessive leaking and estimated the project to cost between $765,000 and $825,000, depending on the cost of labor. Pegg added that Smithfield Elementary is also in need of a boiler replacement, which would cost in excess of $225,000.
Addressing the board during public comment Wednesday, district music teacher Jeremy Kendall urged the board to consider alternative, less costly methods to remedying Smithfield’s leaky roof. Kendall relayed to the board the potential to work with roofing product manufacturer Carlisle Construction Materials and associate company Hunter Panels, which perform trials on their materials and may be looking for a test roof, according to a former Smithfield parent who works for Carlisle.
“It should be a clear sign how motivated the community is and that they are willing to do whatever it takes to help our school and to keep it open,” said Kendall.
The roof at Smithfield has become a focal point in a conversation on consolidation for the cash-strapped Albert Gallatin as it considers ways to cut costs.
In response to board discussion last month, Pegg prepared a school building restructuring plan, on which he delivered a presentation Monday during a board work session. The plan detailed estimated enrollment figures and classroom sizes for district elementary and middle schools in the event Smithfield Elementary School was permanently closed.
Under the plan, the district’s remaining four elementary schools would house grades K-4 and the two middle schools would accommodate grades 5-8.
According to Pegg, the closure would save the district between $1.8 million and $2.1 million in the first year, figures which include $1.1 million in savings from not having to replace the roof and boilers at Smithfield.
“This is an option that I presented to the board so they have options,” said Pegg. “I thought it was fair to the board members that will be coming on to be part of any public hearing and any decisions that need to be made moving forward, whether the school district is going to put a new roof and boilers and repairs in Smithfield, or if they’re going to move towards closing the school and move forward with redistricting.”