SKOWHEGAN — Residents of Skowhegan-based School Administrative District 54 will be asked to approve a referendum bond Nov. 8 amounting to $1.6 million to replace and repair roofs on seven of the eight schools in the district.

SAD 54 Superintendent Brent Colbry said most of the schools either were built or had the roofs replaced about the same time — 20 to 30 years ago — and with district debt at a current low, now is a good time to get the work done.

Roofs to be replaced are at Skowhegan Area High School, the Somerset Career and Technical Center, and Vocational Center, Skowhegan Area Middle School, Canaan Elementary School, North Elementary School, Margaret Chase Smith Elementary School and Bloomfield Elementary School.

The annual payment on the bond is to be about $120,000 per year over a period of 15 to 20 years. The interest rate is expected to be 2 percent to 3.5 percent. Mill Stream Elementary School in Norridgewock, which is relatively new, is the only school in the district that does not need a roof. SAD 54 schools in Cornville, Mercer and Smithfield were closed by the district and turned over to the towns several years ago.

Colbry said the district recently paid off debt totaling $314,000 a year in payments, including a revolving renovations fund and a general obligation bond for the parking lot, the football field and the bleachers at the high school.

He said the new bond issue, if approved by voters, will not contribute significantly to the district’s overall debt.


“We’ve had some emergency repairs we’ve had to make at the high school and middle schools because the roofs failed in certain sections, so there’s an urgency to do this,” Colbry said. “The board was thinking it’s a good time to address this issue, at a time when some debt has gone away.”

Roofs that were installed in the early 1990s came with only a 10-year warranty, according to a district handout on the referendum question. The life expectancy was 15 years.

• North, Margaret Chase Smith and Canaan elementary schools are all more than 25 years old.

• The Skowhegan High School roofs are 23 years old and have required emergency re-roofing projects above the gymnasium, and leaking is significant in places. Flashing and fascia need to be replaced. The combined high school and technical center project comes in at an estimated $1,065,000.

• The roof at North Elementary is about 29 years old and the flashings are deteriorating. The estimated cost to replace it is $50,000.

• The roof at Margaret Chase Smith is about 26 years old and the membrane is pulling away in places. The estimated cost of replacing it is $85,000.


• The roof at the Canaan school is also about 26 years old and the flashings are deteriorating, shingles are brittle and splitting, and some shingle tabs are missing. There are seven sections of roof to be replaced at an estimated cost of $150,000.

• At Bloomfield Elementary, the roofing is about 30 years old and the flashings are deteriorating. The estimated cost is $50,000.

• The roofing at Skowhegan Area Middle School is approximately 15 years old with deteriorating shingles. An emergency replacement of shingles over the cafeteria and gymnasium area was required last summer. The proposal is to strip the remaining shingles to the roof deck and install ice and water shield with 50-year warranty shingles at a total cost of $200,000.

The proposal, if approved by voters Nov. 8, will go out to bid in December. A contract would be awarded by February. The work will begin the summer of 2017.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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