BLADEN COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - The Superintendent of Bladen County Schools says new high school roofs won’t cost taxpayers a dime.
Both East and West Bladen High School need roof replacements.
They’re nearly 20 years old, which was their projected lifespan.
The county’s school maintenance director, Rusty Worley, said “we’re getting to the point we’re having so much water infiltration into the building, that it will start causing structural damage. It can create some health issues. That hasn’t happened yet, but its not far down the road. So, hopefully by late spring this will be resolved and behind us.”
On the roof of East Bladen, Worley points to dozens of patched spots where warped materials have pushed nails upward, creating holes for leaks, some patches are leaking and spots are visible where new ones will be needed if the roof isn’t replaced soon.
“We have water damage inside, we’ve had to work on the gym floor, replace part of it," he said. "We’ve had multiple classrooms that we’ve had issues with, replacing multiple ceiling tiles many times, wet floors.”
Superintendent Robert Taylor said, “we’ve heard a lot from teachers. We’ve heard a lot from administrators. When we have a rainy day, water comes into the building, it comes into the classrooms, teachers have to re-arrange what it is they have to do.”
Taylor says plans are being constantly re-worked to prepare for the inevitable costs of replacing school roofs.
“Before the hurricane we’d actually talked with the commissioners about the pending roof replacements at both East and West,” said Superintendent Robert Taylor. "When you’re talking about $2 million, that kind of money is not lying around. So, what was actually a bad event with the hurricane had a silver lining to the cloud because it did enough damage to the roofs to where insurance money was able to replace that.”
The county has received bids for full roof replacements with twenty year warranties.
Worley will make a recommendation to the Board of Education at its next meeting on February 10.
Once a bid is accepted, work should begin within 30 days.