Garfield Roof, Hurricane Damage Must Wait Another Year

By Seth Daniel

The completed $7 million roof replacement and repair project won’t be greeting students next Monday when they return to classes at the Garfield.

Instead, that will have to wait until one year from now, school officials said this week.

“The timeline was just getting too tough and the contractor was going to be setting up riggings and cranes last week and then start work this week and next week,” said Supt. Dianne Kelly. “It was just all too close to the beginning of school. We decided to postpone the work until next year…It would have been completed next February. Doing the work next year allows us to get the materials on hand and plan for an expedited installation. Because we have purchased everything now, we won’t have these delays.”

The project was set to start this summer and accommodations were made in the summer programs to clear the way for construction crews to move in. The full replacement of the roof was going to be performed, as well as repairs in the pool area for damage done during Hurricane Sandy to some of the outside panels on the school. In total, the project was going to take all summer and about one month into the school year to wrap up, but it was also going to clear up longstanding water problems at the Garfield School caused by roof deficiencies and the hurricane damage.

However, once work was about ready to start, one of the unions that did not win the bid for the job protested. That delayed the start of construction, and once that was resolved, the lead-time on materials was going to be up to 14 weeks for some things such as specialized glass block.

Kelly said there were many contingencies they explored, including moving kids from the fourth floor in order to commence work on the roof. None of the options though were palatable.

The price has been locked in with the contractor, so there won’t be any cost increases associated with the delay. The contractor has also agreed to work with the school to shore up any major water leaks over the coming year.

“It’s a big disappointment because tis’ been lingering and needed to be done for some time,” she said. “We were excited to get that done…The good news is we have plenty of time to get materials on board and that will allow quicker construction and it will be done all next summer. So, it will have a minimal impact on students and staff.”

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