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Published: Tuesday, 4/10/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Nearly all of TPS' leaky roofs fixed

BY NOLAN ROSENKRANS
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The once leaky roofs of Toledo Public Schools are nearly all fixed.

Heavy winds and rain this winter helped build a list of 20 newly built or renovated Toledo Public School buildings with leaking roofs.

The list comprised nearly half of the schools in the district's Building for Success program, a collaboration among the state, TPS, and local contractors to overhaul public school infrastructure that was funded through state money and a locally approved levy.

As the Building for Success program — a nearly decade-long project that cost $635 million — wound down this year, several Toledo Board of Education members castigated the many leaks.

They claimed it was a failure to exclusively hold contractors and architects accountable for their work and not have leadership take responsibility for the oversight.

Although district administrators said that with a project this big — hailed largely as a success — some mishaps are to be expected, the number of leaks was unacceptable.

So, TPS arranged meetings about the roofs with its partners in the projects: the Ohio School Facilities Commission, construction management team of Lathrop Co., Barton Marlow, and R. Gant LLC, and about a half dozen contractors. Leaky roofs were identified, responsibility was assigned, and, according to those involved, repairs were done.

"I honestly expected some grumbling a little bit about the process," TPS business manager Jim Gant said, "but we received none."

Most of the work was covered by warranties and cost the district nothing.

A variety of problems was found with the roofs, project director Matt Richards said. Sound buildings needed walls opened and flashings repaired. At one school, icicles developed on a metal roof over an entryway, broke off, slid down, and punctured the rubber roof.

At other locations, objects thrown onto the roofs by neighborhood children caused punctures.

And some were damaged by high winds and heavy rains in December, Mr. Richards said.

Of the 20 roofs with identified leaks, 16 have been repaired. The others are expected to be fixed within the next month, and Mr. Richards said the district has had few callbacks from sites with repaired roofs, despite the recent spring rains.

In the meantime, the project partners are busy developing maintenance plans for the 44 rebuilt or renovated buildings.

Contact Nolan Rosenkrans at: nrosenkrans@theblade.com or 419-724-6086.



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