Options presented for school roof repairs

Published 10:46 am Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Options for replacing, repairing and maintaining the roofs of Southampton County Public Schools were presented to the school during its Monday night meeting. William Hale of Hale and Associates from Chesterfield summarized the condition of each school’s roof and what is needed.

Southampton High School and adjoining Career Technical Education Center roofs measure 185,590 square feet, said Hale, and to replace all could cost $2.8 million; repairs could be $310,000; and a maintenance for 2020-2024 at $60K.

Southampton Middle School, he added, “has the worst roof problems.” The options are the same: replace or repair at $1.4M or 680K respectively; a maintenance contract is figured at $15K

The roof at Capron Elementary School measures 25,132 square feet, and could be done for $135K, which would last for another five years.

Riverdale Elementary, at 93,328 square feet, could have its roof replaced for $490K; repaired at $10K; and maintained at $25K.

Meherrin and Nottoway roofs could be replaced at $310K each.

The Fresh Start Center at 40,855 square feet in roof space could be repaired for $20K, with a maintenance contract at $15K.

Hale estimated the cost of replacing all roofs at $5.55M; with a second option of repairs at $1.33M.

Describing his company as more of a “roof cop” than roofer — though he’s done that before — would mean Hale’s group would check potential contractors’ safety records, price per hour for different workers and do interviews with one or two contractors.


Dr. Gwendolyn Shannon, superintendent, reported to the board the results of what she called her “Listening Tour” at the schools during the latter part of October.

“I met with secretaries, paraprofessionals [teachers’ aides/substitute teachers,] food service personnel, transportation — basically everyone,” she said. “There was no agenda. This was not about complaints or suggestions.” Shannon added that there were various platforms such as the survey that could be done anonymously, but many spoke boldly.

“Everyone wants us to review their pay,” she said, noting that the secretaries seem more concerned about other departments such as food services, etc. Their recommendations included hiring more school psychologists or counselors (under review;) the timeliness of buses; hiring more substitute teachers; and getting the telephones repaired, which will be done via a grant.

The paraprofessionals requested more training; addressing student behavior and discipline more effectively; hiring more substitute teachers; getting paid twice a month (under review for all departments;) and mutual respect among all employees and students.

Food service wants to improve menu options; get more pay and new equipment (under review); for parents to pay with checks instead of cash; and hire more employees.

Transportation asked that bus rules be enforced; student behavior and discipline be addressed more effectively; include medical kits in cars; update bus routes; review the number of students on the bus; and of course hire more drivers.

Custodians and maintenance requested more hires; everyone cleaning up after themselves; more employee recognition by staff and students; review pay; dumpsters emptied more often; more bathroom supplies; and that there be no eating in classrooms unless otherwise permitted.

Last, but not least, teachers asked for more benefits; more custodians; a new cell phone policy; county-wide reading initiative; hire more bus drivers; get better athletic and field equipment; more teacher collaboration county-wide; address discipline; enforce dress code; and that classrooms have a comfortable temperature.

The superintendent felt that “really a good forum” had taken place,” noting that many board members were present. She added that several of the ideas are already under review to be implemented.