Archive for Thursday, February 23, 2006

Board OKs design for school

February 23, 2006

Lansing School Board has cleared the way for the construction phase to begin on the school bond projects approved by voters 10 months ago.

After an hour and a half of discussion Monday, the board approved, 6-0, the designs for the new elementary school and high school auditorium covered by a $23.6 million bond issue approved by voters in April 2005. Board member Craig Gephart was absent from the special meeting.

Last week, at the board's regular meeting, members tabled approval of the construction documents after board vice president Shelly Gowdy brought up questions about putting a standing-seam metal roof on the elementary school rather than a modified bitumen membrane roofing system.

At that time, the board instructed representatives from Wilson and Company, Engineers and Architects, to show the board an estimate for a standing-seam metal roof for the elementary school. They also asked Wilson and Company for an estimate of how many people would fit in the lobby of the high school auditorium, and they directed school principals to make the designs available for staff comments.

Discussion on Monday centered on the roofing system for the elementary school. Jon Plumer of Wilson and Company told the board the price difference between its options was an additional $3.30 per square foot for a standing-seam metal roof. The additional roofing required, increased masonry in walls to support such a roof and rearranging of air-conditioning units added up to $451,450.

Gowdy's hangup on the roofing stems from problems Lansing Middle School has had with leakage, she said. The building has leaked since it was built in 1996, she said.

Gowdy and board president Brian Bode told Plumer and architect Bruce Mortimer of Wilson and Company that they were concerned that as the new elementary building settles, the modified bitumen roof would lose its pitch and become flatter, leading to areas that collect water, which can leak into the building.

Mortimer told the board that the roof type installed at LMS was single-ply rubber roof and was "not a quality roof system."

In the end, the board decided against the standing-seam metal roof.

"We just can't stretch our money that far," Bode said.

The board instructed the architects to finish the design plans using a modified bitumen membrane roof with a slope of 1/2-inch per foot where possible, rather than the suggested 3/8-inch-per-foot slope. The latter roof would slope down three inches every eight feet; the former would slope four inches every eight feet, which board members said they hoped would sufficiently drain water from the roof.

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