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Short-term plan implemented to address Hinsdale Middle School roof issues

Published: Monday, May 5, 2014 4:42 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 4:42 a.m. CDT

HINSDALE – A short-term solution addressing issues with the Hinsdale Middle School roof was unanimously approved to go out for bid Monday by the District 181 Board of Education. But a long-term solution is yet to be determined and will be determined with help from the community.

After an ARCON Architects, Inc. assessment, the short-term project will cost about $350,000 and addresses five major roof issues, including the top wall, ice dam, metal seam defect, built-in gutter and existing storm drainage problems.

The roof’s problems were amplified during the previous five months because of the extreme winter conditions as well as the mold remediation, drywall repair and replacement and extensive cleaning that simultaneously occurred throughout the facility.

Since 2000, $10 million has been invested in the building to mitigate the challenges – a figure that does not include the recent mold remediation and water intrusion expenses.

“My understanding is, even if we implement these short-term solutions in the next year, we could still have problems and issues arise,” District 181 School Board Vice President Jill Vorobiev said. “So how much are we decreasing all likelihood of those problems arising if we spend this $350,000?”

ARCON Firm Principal Steve Mulvihill said by implementing the short-term solutions, the district would be solving “50 to 55 percent” of all leaks.

He added with the recent weather experienced in the area, it is imperative that the district completes the short-term fix by November. Although no leaks have sprung as a result of the recent rain, the primary focus is now addressing the five target problems before next winter, Mulvihill said.

Vorobiev retorted, wondering if it’s necessary for the district to begin the repairs during the spring and summer.

“You want to construct your roof repairs during the summer when the kids aren’t here,” Mulvihill said. “I don’t think it’s a logical option to wait until September or October to implement some of these things.”

Still, questions loom regarding the overall usability of Hinsdale Middle School.

District 181 Facilities Committee representative Julie Bryant said one year from now the district will be at a crossroads, leaving two options: there will be enough community and financial support to pursue a new middle school building, or the existing building will finally be deemed a safe and adequate learning space.

After Monday’s unanimous vote (School Board President Marty Turek and board member Michael Nelson were absent) approving the recommendation for repairs to the middle school roof, the board will seek bidders before beginning the short-term repairs.

“We hope to open bids May 20 and have a recommendation at the next regular business meeting,” Mulvihill said.

The district plans to move forward and survey the community for input on long-term solutions.

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By the numbers:

Hinsdale Middle School expenditures from July 2000 through Dec. 12, 2013

• Rentals of portables – $91,221

• 2000-2002 remodeling of second floor – $2,417,183

• Busloop, roofing, portable classroom – $290,568

• HVAC project – $4,735,894

• Busloop – $781,796

• Portables – $190,957

• HVAC – $97,335

• Portables – $47,568

• Furniture – $35,038

• Elevator – $23,463

• Building repairs – $1,423,904

• Miscellaneous equipment – $58,386

Total: $10,193,313

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