The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School committee voted Monday in favor of a $2.65 million roof replacement project.
Vineyard schools business administrator Amy Tierney told the school committee that last spring a roofing consultant came to look at the building and estimated repairs would cost $1.9 million.
But a further study this year showed more deterioration, with different code violations and hazardous materials, she said. The request before the school committee was increased to $2.65 million, she said, and a vote was needed so construction could begin right after school ends and take place over the summer. The project will be funded by a bond, and the money for preparing the bond and the first interest payment have been included in the fiscal year 2014 budget.
“If we were to just spend the $1.9 million, which we could do, we wouldn’t get the entire roof,” high school building coordinator Greg Hines said.
Principal Stephen Nixon said that over the last year the roof has seen “deterioration on a rapid scale,” with leaks in almost every room in the building, including hallways and the performing arts center. “Even if we were to fix a portion of the roof, it would be extremely difficult to decide which portion wouldn’t get fixed,” he said.
School committee member Roxanne Ackerman called the increase “shocking” and asked for more information about why the increase was needed. Eventually, the committee voted unanimously to approve the bond.
“Sometimes you just have to do it, and this roof is in terrible shape,” committee chairman Priscilla Sylvia said.
In other business, the committee had its first reading of a new policy for life-threatening allergies in schools. In compliance with state regulations, the school district will maintain a system-wide emergency plan, and parents of a student with a physician-diagnosed allergy must inform the school nurse in writing and provide yearly documentation of the allergy.
The committee accepted a $500 ExxonMobil Educational Alliance math and science grant, which the high school received thanks to the efforts of Pat Jenkinson and his family, who own Up-Island Auto.
Mr. Nixon announced that high school physical education teacher Lisa Knight is the recipient of one of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women’s Unsung Heroine awards. She will be honored on April 29 at the State House. This month, senior Isabella Hazell-El-Deiry was featured in the student spotlight. Isabella is a member of the Governor’s Youth Council and talked about her senior project, for which she went to inner-city schools and volunteered at a women’s shelter.
Finally, Colleen McAndrews was voted the new chairman of the committee, and Lisa Reagan was voted vice chairman. Committee member Susan Mercier thanked Ms. Sylvia, who has served as the chairman for the last two years, for her leadership.