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ACGC board approves roof repair for Cosmos school dubbed 'South Beach' due to its leaks

Tom Fordyce, ACGC building and grounds manager, points April 29 to spots on the leaky roof at ACGC South Elementary while explaining the need for repairs.The school board approved his rec-ommendation to replace one section of the roof with a new fully-adhered membrane. Tribune Photo by Carolyn Lange

COSMOS -- There were so many leaks in the roof at the elementary school in Cosmos early this spring that buckets catching rainwater in the hallway had a sign by them that said, "South Beach."

This week the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School Board got a first-hand look at the top-side of the leaky roof.

Tom Fordyce, the building and grounds manager, explained how rain was leaking in through the bubble-type sun roofs that dot the top of one section of the building.

"It's an old roof," Fordyce said. "It's gone past its life expectancy and it's time to upgrade it."

The old roof does not meet code in regard to insulation, and heat is escaping through the roof, he said. The temporary patches of goopy tar have helped slow down the leaks of rain and heat.

However, it's time to replace it, Fordyce said.

He also showed board members how different sections of the roof were repaired in 2007 and 2008 with a new rubber membrane that is fully adhered to the roof. Unlike the old roof, there is no bed of stones on top of the membrane. Fordyce recommended that same kind of fully adhered membrane roofing material be used for the 2009 project.

There were four bidders for the project. The low bidder was Laraway Roofing of Hutchinson, with a bid of $74,900. The roof will have a 20-year warranty, which was $780 more than the cost of a 15-year warranty.

At a cost of $7.64 a square foot, the price of the new roofing is cheaper this year than in 2007, when the work cost $11.64 a square foot, or in 2008 when it was $8.48 a square foot.

The school board members also got a tour of an empty wing of the building that will be leased by the Southwest/West Central Service Cooperative.

Starting June 1, the cooperative will be moving into four empty classrooms and two offices to prepare the space for a new special education and autism program.

The K-12 grade program will be separate from ACGC and will not be part of the district's curriculum or expenses, said Dave Oehrlein, elementary principal.

The cooperative will hire its own staff and use the facility to provide a regional alternative learning program for students with autism and behavioral disorders. The cooperative currently leases space from the Glencoe-Silver Lake School District.

Board members said they were eager to have the new program located in Cosmos.

Superintendent Roger Rueckert said the cooperative has been getting referrals from regional school districts and officials are eager to move in and get the program going.

"They're excited too. It's a nice facility for them," said Rueckert.

ACGC will receive $14,854 a year in lease payments.

In other action this week:

- The board was informed that enrollment has stabilized and the 2009-10 kindergarten class could be around 65 students. That's slightly more than the number of students in the 2009 graduating class.

- The board discussed federal stimulus funding and state budget cuts. ACGC could receive about $83,000 for Title I programs and $180,000 over two years for special education from the stimulus package. But because there are so many unknown factors with federal spending rules and likely state budget cuts, Rueckert said there should be no immediate plans made to spend the money.

- The board was informed that a "kids' fest" will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 pm on May 16 at the high school in Grove City. The event will include activities for kids as well as a job fair for older students and adults.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

(320) 894-9750