By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
EL RENO – A surprise pre-winter ice storm has made even more apparent the need to fix the roof at a critical Canadian County building.
A new roof is being planned at the Canadian County Health Department, 100 S Rock Island.
“We have been working on trying to get this leak for three years,” CCHD administrative assistant Steve Wheeler said at the Nov. 9th Canadian County Commissioners’ meeting. “I’ve said for three years it’s going to crash right in front of me.”
Sure enough, the recent storm caused more noticeable roof damage on the north side of the building over Wheeler’s office.
Wheeler is temporarily using three desks “scattered across” the building because he can’t use his office now. With more rain forecasted this week, Wheeler will wait before moving back in.
Canadian County maintenance supervisor Chris Jackson has suggested that both sides of the building’s existing “tar and gravel” roof be replaced with Durolast, a durable commercial roofing system.
“It’s similar to TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin), but it’s better,” Jackson advised county commissioners. “There’s one right across the alley from us that you can definitely tell the difference in the quality of roof that’s on there.”
SEALING THE LEAKS
After the ice storm, Canadian County maintenance personnel went on top of the roof to seal all the leaks they could reach.
“That building has a concrete ceiling on it, then they’ve got the beams for the roof sitting on top of it,” Jackson said. “So, there’s no access to get in between there to find out where it’s coming from. We’re blind up there.”
Three roof repair “quotes” were received from contractors, but each exceeded $50,000. By law, county commissioners must solicit formal bids and award a contract for the roof project.
Jackson suggested the county’s bid specifications require the Durolast material, citing the product’s much-better warranty.
“I think going back with that gravel and tar, we’re just shooting ourselves in the foot,” he said.
County Clerk Sherry Murray said bid specifications should include roofing material that’s “similar or equivalent” to the specific brand.
In a related matter, County Commission Chairman Marc Hader discussed plans to install a new generator above the CCHD office – but not placing the unit atop the newly replaced roof.
“If you put it on the side, it’s going to be over the alley or over the sidewalk,” Jackson replied.