New semester brings new roof

Daphne Yu

Construction workers continue tearing off the 38-year-old roof a week into the project. Photo by: Muhammad Al-Rawi
First hour today students in the west wing of the school were greeted with a few hard knocks.
Sounds of pounding came above their heads and although this seemed a new event to them, the noise was not new to those who frequented the building during the holiday break.
The start of second semester did not only mark a new year, but also a new roof for the western part of the building. Construction to replace the roof began Tuesday, Dec. 27 and will last for at least another month, depending on the weather.
RBHS administrators were not directly related to the initiation of the roof project.
“It was a surprise to us,” said Jen Mast, who is the principal in charge of building operations. “We knew the roof was in bad shape, but we’re always told, ‘There’s no money; there’s no money. [Columbia Public School’s Facilities and Construction Services] realized the need. They found the money, and they said, ‘We’re going to do it.’”
Anytime there is a problem with the building, Mast and other administrators turn in work orders, ranging from patching up a hole in the wall to heating and cooling issues. In the past, they have had to constantly put in work orders to fix the roof. However, they were not expecting facilities and construction services to turn to replacement as the solution.
“What they can and can’t do is always different,” Mast said. “We put in work orders on roofs and all kind stuff. I don’t think we’ve ever put in a work order to replace the roof. They’ve been up there so much they know the shape of the roof. We know it too, but we’re not in charge of the money. We can turn in work orders that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, but that doesn’t means it going to get done.”
The school has put in work orders for renovating the South Lot and replacing the concrete in the front entrance, but both have been turned down because of lack of funds. However, peppered with constant leaks and water damage, the original, 38-year-old roof is finally being replaced.
“I don’t know when the last time the roof was replaced, but it’s the age and it’s worn out,” said Mike Schaffer, a construction worker on the project.
Workers are still on the first part of the project – ripping off the old roof. This part causes the banging and other noises students will likely hear because of the generators and other equipment used. Although loud, teachers are not really bothered by the noise because the end justifies the means.
“Obviously any external noises are going to be a distraction, but you just got to persevere,” Resource advisor Drew Mueller said “If that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes. As long as it’s not raining on my head later on, I’ll be happy.”
By Daphne Yu