The Board of Selectmen (BOS) held a special meeting on Wednesday to discuss appropriating $966,541 to replace the roof at (HHES), which was later approved by the Board of Finance (BOF) at their regular meeting. The project, which will now go to a town meeting, was originally included in the , however in order to have the roof replaced this summer, the appropriation would have to be included in the current fiscal year.
The roof, which was put on in 1965, is in poor repair and water began leaking into a classroom earlier this month. The students were moved to another room while the leak was fixed, but a more permanent solution is needed.
Fixing the HHES roof was a “centerpiece capital project” in the schools budget proposal this year, Director of Business and Technology Art Colley said. “It’s been on our radar, this is just a different way to go about it.”
In order to get the final design specifications finished and the bid process started in time to begin construction this summer, the timetable had to be moved up.
“The Board of Finance and Board of Selectmen said, ‘We need to fix this roof now,’” First Selectman Bill Davidson explained. In order to get that done, “We have to get the paperwork moving.”
The administration also decided to replace the roof in its entirety, rather than stripping the top and making targeted repairs.
“That roof is over 45 years old,” Davidson said, “Who knows what we’ll find underneath.”
With the $966,541 appropriation, the town should be able to complete the project without any overruns, so no matter what is found underneath the existing roof, “If nothing goes right, we’re still OK,” he added.
Replacing the roof rather than a refurbishment is a “little more upfront but we’ll get money back from the state and a roof that’s going to last with no problems,” Colley said, referring to the 31 percent state reimbursement ($299,628) that will be returned to the town once the project is complete.
A town meeting has been set for April 4 at 7 p.m. in the (BHS) media center for voters to approve the appropriation. On that same date, town meetings will also be held on the and .