Roofing repairs necessary for PVHS


Daan Mooij via Unsplash

Many leaks caused by old age are beginning to appear in the ceilings at Pleasant Valley High School.

Ryan Vance, Business Manager

Pleasant Valley High School may look very modern on the outside, but it is difficult to walk through the halls without noticing missing ceiling tiles caused by ceiling leaks.

Current leaks can be seen around the tower, choir room and indoor track. The building has different ages of roofs which is a factor in the leaks. Older sections are much more likely to leak than newer ones, but environmental factors also have an impact on the school’s rubber roofing. The 2020 derecho storm caused debris to skid across the roof and potentially could have made multiple new holes. 

Leaks do not always appear right after a hole is created in a section of roofing. But as principal Darren Erickson put it, “water finds a way.” It is very difficult to patch every leak in the building, especially when unknown leaks may exist. The custodial staff is doing what they can to keep the school dry. 

The school custodians have a long list of daily jobs to complete, and other issues often come up that require immediate attention. Head custodian Dave Wheeler commented on the department. “The custodial staff is short handed,” he said. They are working on getting another custodian, which will allow them to spend more time on problems like controlling leaks.

Wheeler explained that the ceiling tiles are not always able to be replaced right after the leaks are fixed.  This is the reason for some missing panels around the school. The main responsibilities of the custodians are controlling already existing leaks and replacing ceiling tiles, but the district is in charge of patching and replacing the roof. 

There have been around 12 additions to the high school since its original construction in 1960. Each of these additions happened at different times, meaning the roofs are not all the same age. This means the roofing around the school is in varying conditions, so it is more likely to leak in certain areas.

Some sections of the roof have reached the end of their 30 year lifetime and are in need of replacement. The district works with a third party company to make changes to the roof. This third party repairs or replaces the roof, depending on what is required. 

The district is systematically replacing the roofing around all of the school. “The Science Wing was a brand new roof two summers ago and then above the guidance office was also brand new two years ago,” Wheeler said. “The district has been working on getting bids to either repair or replace [the cafeteria roof].”

It takes time for the district to acquire bids for the resources and labor necessary to patch and replace the roof. But it is expensive. “In 2020 the estimated cost to replace the entire roof at the high school was 2.71 million dollars,” said Zenk. The district is also in charge of maintaining the other buildings like the elementary schools.

The high school will have leaks patched once the weather warms up a bit, but full replacement of any sections has been pushed back to after this summer. This means that leaks will have to be controlled and repaired for the next couple months at least. Students can help the custodians by pointing out any leaks they see throughout the building.