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Leaky roof at Bremerton High School set to be replaced in 2015

When Bremerton School District voters approved a $7.6 million capital levy in 2012, the expectation was that Bremerton High School’s defective roof structure would be replaced right away. That won’t happen until 2015. - Kevan Moore/staff photo
When Bremerton School District voters approved a $7.6 million capital levy in 2012, the expectation was that Bremerton High School’s defective roof structure would be replaced right away. That won’t happen until 2015.
— image credit: Kevan Moore/staff photo

Back in 2012, the biggest Bremerton School District priority was replacing the roof at the high school.

When election results for a $7.6 million capital levy showed a near 60-percent approval rate in August 2012, Bremerton School District Finance Director Wayne Lindberg talked about expanding the STEM Academy at West Hills and replacing the roof at the high school. Those two projects were the main selling points of the capital levy.

“We will probably have the high school roof repaired next summer and we will continue with the design of the STEM project,” Lindberg told the Patriot while election returns were still pouring in back in 2012.

The roof replacement, though, never occurred and is now slated for the summer of 2015. Lindberg says that’s because the school board and former superintendent Flip Herndon decided to prioritize the STEM academy expansion ahead of the roof work. Construction of the STEM expansion is set to start next month to the tune of $2.5 million. The roof repairs will cost about $1.9 million.

“Our plan is to complete the STEM addition by Christmas and then, in 2015, we’ll be concentrating on the high school roof,” Lindberg said. “We may be replacing the Crown Hill Elementary roof this summer. We’re getting those bids right now.”

Since the levy’s passage, the school district has spent about $12,000 to do patch work on the roof to address leaks, Lindberg said. That capital levy money is allowed to be used for repairs rather than replacement, Lindberg said, because it’s part of the overall project to replace the roof. He said $59,368 of capital levy money has also already been spent to replace the elevator at the high school, something that wasn’t anticipated or on the project list prior to the levy’s passage.

When the high school was built in the late ‘80s, the tile roof was expected to last 50 years. That expectation was shattered when freezing temperatures and wet weather led to cracking tiles. That cracking, it turns out, wasn’t easily addressed or covered by warranty. The 2012 capital levy was promoted as a way of fixing the high school roof, and others in the district, along with the West Hills STEM expansion and the creation of a central kitchen. The central kitchen, like the roof replacement at BHS, has still not occurred.

Bremerton School District Facilities Director Ron Carpenter said that contractors have been called out about four or five times this year to address leaks at the high school.

“It’s a problem,” Carpenter said. “Right now it’s controllable, but you gotta keep on it. Roofs are a big priority in the district right now. The high school roof has problems, but there are also major costs associated with it because of what you have to do.”

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