By MARINA WATERS
Rain poured down on the roof of the Washington County Courthouse as school and county officials gathered at the county’s Health Education and Welfare Committee meeting on Thursday, but their minds were on a different roof across the county.
Director of Washington County Schools Bill Flanary asked the HEW Committee for funds to repair the roof at Daniel Boone High School, which Flanary said is experiencing leaks. The HEW Committee passed a motion on to the budget committee to repair the gymnasium roof at Boone for no more than $400,000. Commissioners Jodi Jones, Steve Light and Suzy Williams voted in favor. Chairman Danny Edens voted in opposition.
“(Boone has) water streaming in and buckets on the floor in the gymnasium,” Flanary said to the committee on Thursday. “I’m asking if any progress (for funding) has been made.”
Flanary said multiple portions of the roof needed to be repaired at the school, but the main concern was the gymnasium roof, which,
due to the leaks, could potentially damage the gym floor. Repairs to the gym’s roof, School System Maintenance Supervisor Phillip Patrick said, would cost $317,600. Flanary recently said the cost to re-roof the majority of the school would cost around $2.6 million.
“We can’t afford to put in a new gym floor,” Patrick said.
Patrick said some portions of the roof, including the gymnasium roof, were re-roofed in 1992. He said other areas were done in 1980 and the ROTC building and science wing portions were done in 2007.
Jones asked if the county could fund only the gym portion of the roof for now, seeing as it was the biggest concern. Though the gym needed the most attention, Patrick said, the goal was to roof the main building portion.
“I would say there’s never a disadvantage to re-roof something,” Patrick said. “But the advantage would be, if we could do the entire project at once, we would not have to start the job twice. There is always a cost with that. It could be around 20 percent.
“If we can only get the gymnasium roof (repaired), we’d greatly appreciate it. If we can do the entire job, we’d greatly appreciate that.”
Patrick said he would need to go back to be sure about his figures. Meanwhile, Edens said he felt the committee needed to know concrete figures before passing it on to the budget committee.
“I’d like to have the figures before we make a motion to approve anything,” Edens said. “We’re not going to do anything until we have the numbers. That’s me personally. I’d like to know what we’re going to have to spend before I approve something.”
Commissioners agreed that waiting another 30 days to decide the figures for the project would only add to the roof needs, which were discussed an hour and a half after Washington County Schools were dismissed due to hazardous road conditions caused by heavy rain.
“There will certainly be a lot more rain and snow in the next 30 days,” Williams said.
The county’s budget committee will meet on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at 9 a.m. in the first-floor conference room of the historic courthouse in Jonesborough. For a full schedule of county meetings and more information, go to http://www.washingtoncountytn.org/.