Hopes for a outdoor covered basketball court and play area near the Haines School are still alive.
school board members and superintendent Michael Byer say a covered area would serve a number of uses, but a recent estimate for the project of more than $300,000 nearly eliminated it from consideration.
The borough has since received an estimate of $250,000 for the job. The school board was to meet Thursday to discuss the estimate.
The roof is number three on a list of priorities for spending the less than $400,000 remaining in school construction funds, after fixing holes in the roof above the superintendent’s office and resolving a drainage problem behind the school that threatens to flood the gymnasium during winter thaws.
Patching the roof is estimated to cost $30,000. In recent years, the leaks have required office staff to catch water in waste baskets. Resolving the outside drainage problem also is a necessity, said superintendent Michael Byer.
"There are lakes forming out there. It’s gotten close to backing up into the gym. We’ve had staff back there chipping away on ice and the borough trying to drain it away."
Public facilities director Brad Maynard said drainage work there shouldn’t cost more than $55,000. "We have several different levels where we could go with that."
Dawson Construction cited the $250,000 estimate for a cover on the paved basketball courts adjacent to the voc-ed building. "I think all three projects can fit (into the remaining construction funds)," Maynard said.
Dawson’s research includes $135,000 for materials, including 7,450 square feet of roofing supported by a galvanized steel framework, $68,000 for labor and $28,000 for equipment to erect it. "It’s a pretty substantial framework. It would work real well," Maynard said.
An earlier estimate on a kit-style roof was $100,000, but the cost of getting it here, extending it and erecting it tripled its pricetag.
Board member Sarah Swinton said she was hopeful about getting a covered play area, as they’re common elsewhere in Southeast, she said. "We have a lot of winter."
But she blanched at a $300,000 pricetag, calling it "ridiculous."
Besides making recess more pleasant, Byer said a covered area could be used for gym class, special events, and provide a dry spot for students during school drills.
"A lot of people would like to see it happen. Some roofs are more elaborate than others. We’re looking for something basic that could still stand up to the snow loads that accumulate here."
In related news, Byer said leaks in the roof in the new section of the school, including in the lobby, appear to have fixed themselves.