At their July 13 meeting, the Somers-Lakeside school board approved the selection of CTA Architects Engineers of Kalispell to oversee the remodeling of the roof on Somers Middle School.
Members of the board’s facilities committee reviewed proposals from both CTA and Architects Northwest for the project. The committee decided CTA’s plans for the roof of installing a membrane on the existing roof that would last what is predicted to be 20 years was the best option. CTA intends to keep the roof in the same flat design that it currently has, while Architects Northwest wanted to construct a trust system with a gabled roof over one wing of the building.
“We weren’t confident that Architects Northwest could get the gable roof done with the money that we have,” said facilities committee member Tim Rogge.
The school district received $418,000 in May from a Quality Schools Grant through the Montana Department of Commerce to fix the roof, which has become an increasing problem during the rainy and snowy months. At times last school year buckets were positioned in the hallways around the school to collect water that was leaking from the ceiling.
However, the school’s hallways may again be lined with buckets this year as the board decided that they would need to put the project off another year. With funding not coming through until mid-May due to hold-ups in the legislator, the board has been rapidly trying to get the construction process going in time to get the roof completed before the first day of school, Aug. 31, but at this point they’ve realized that timeline is impossible.
“We are going to do it next year because it is so late in the summer, so for us to start the bidding process and get the job finished we would run into the school year,” said Mike Schlegel, who is also on the facilities committee.
Schlegal also noted that Somers Middle School principal Lori Schieffer attended the facilities committee meeting prior to the board meeting and expressed concern about trying to relocate the about 120 students at the school during construction.
The district has until June 2013 to use the grant money.