by ROBERT HELDE
During the September 24th, 2019 Hernando County School Board (HCSB) workshop Brian Ragan, the director of facilities, presented to the HCSB information regarding the renovations undertaken at several schools. Westside Elementary and Pine Grove Elementary were used as specific examples of the type of restoration efforts. Within the presentation was a chart detailing data such as fiscal year, job location, project description, project cost, and funding sources.
Pine Grove Elementary (PGE) was the first example given during the meeting, specifically the roof replacement. The worn out roof membrane atop PGE was allowing water to intrude into the building. This infiltration was causing a host of issues including wet drywall, and engorged countertops. In addition to the water intrusion, the roofs had poor lightning protection and failing patch repairs needing to be addressed. The new membrane is made of a high density PVC designed to be able to support foot traffic to provide roof and rooftop equipment maintenance as well as provide weather protection. The membranes are covered by a twenty (20) year warranty. The lightning protection has been brought into compliance with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standards. The rooftop insulation has been upgraded to R25 grade, the modern standard, resulting in lower interior temperatures, and therefore lower energy demand. In addition to the rooftop upgrades, new stainless steel downspouts and scuppers, through the roof edge wall, have been installed for drainage. Pine Grove Elementary’s total project cost, was $1,229,170, funded by the half-cent sales tax.
The second example used was Westside Elementary (WsE), again focusing on roof repairs. In some areas of the Westside Elementary cafeteria the decking underneath the membrane was beginning to become exposed. Additionally, there are worn patches and drainage issues. Alongside the roof’s issues, the sealant around some of the upper windows had deteriorated. There were also bricks with minor cracks which could indicate settling over time or minor foundational shifting. Similarly to PGE, WsE received a new roof including the energy saving R25 rated insulation. The Westside Elementary project total cost was $353,000 paid for by PECO, Public Education Capital Outlay, Florida’s primary funding source for public education.