The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School committee voted this week to sell a $1.8 million bond as part of a plan to finance a nearly complete roof replacement at the high school. At their Monday meeting, the committee voted unanimously to sell the 10-year bond to UBS Financial Services of Boston.
For the first year, the district will pay the bond holders only the interest rate of 2.077 per cent, but starting in fiscal year 2015, the district will begin making payments on the bond. The first payment is due Sept. 15, 2014.
Roof construction work began June 25, and is expected to conclude in October. Damage to the roof, which caused widespread leakage into almost every room in the building, was first evaluated by a roofing consultant in the fall of 2012. At an April meeting of the high school committee, members voted to incur the debt of the project, which was then estimated at $2.65 million. Further consideration of the state of the roof over the summer months revealed less damage to the installation and the substructure than initially was expected. The school also had planned to pay additional design costs, which were ultimately found unnecessary, as well as the salary of an owner’s project manager. Building coordinator Greg Hines performed that role instead. “The construction itself went very well,” school district business manager Amy Tierney told the committee. The new roof comes with a 20-year warranty.
During construction, Ms. Tierney asked the roofing engineers, Russo Barr Associates Inc. of Burlington, to inspect the Tisbury School roof, which has also seen significant leaking and denigration in past years. Engineers found the roof was in need of urgent repairs, as there was a piece of the outer roof structure that is at “extreme risk” of blowing off and infiltrating the building with water, Ms. Tierney said. If the flap became detached in a windstorm, it could take the ventilation and other structures with it, Ms. Tierney said. “[The engineer] said if you were standing there, you would get whipped off the roof,” she said. “It’s a huge safety risk to those people on the ground near the building.”
Repairs are expected to cost less than $10,000, and to be completed before the end of the month. School principal John Custer characterized the repair as a temporary fix which would not solve the widespread leakage problems the roof has caused over the years.
“It is to get us through the year so that there is no blowoff . . . to keep the roof on but not address the leaks, and then hopefully next summer we can get a new roof put on,” he said. The engineer also produced a report detailing problems with each of the Tisbury school roof sections, and estimated full repairs to cost roughly $300,000.
In other high school business Monday, the district received a request from the Martha’s Vineyard Arena to allow a cell tower to be built on their property. The property is owned by the school district and the deed for the property states that the sole purpose for that property is recreation, specifically skating, Vineyard schools superintendent Dr. James H. Weiss said.
“The arena would like to do this for financial purposes; they have some financial issues,” he said. “The question becomes, is it legal for them to do that?”
Attorneys on both sides are in discussions about the use of the property. “Our attorney has some concerns; their attorney thinks it’s fine,” Mr. Weiss summarized. He added that the financial health of the arena is important to the school, which has no interest in becoming the operator of an ice arena.