The Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Elementary District 181 Board approved spending nearly $350,000 April 28 for the short-term solution to repair the roof at Hinsdale Middle School.
The approved short-term fix was recommended by the district’s Facilities Committee, which also had considered a complete repair of the roof, a project that would have cost more than $2 million.
By far the largest expense in the $346,248 repair of the roof is $161,000 for heat tracing, a process often used to melt ice on roofs and in gutters during winter months.
Board member Gary Clarin said heat tracing is a very important part of repairs.
“The interior of the building is in relatively good shape,” Clarin said. “Ice damming is our big problem, and this will help in preventing that from happening.”
The repairs are considered a short-term/one-year solution to roof problems. But Norton said those repairs, especially the heat tracing, likely would improve the condition of the roof for up to five years.
“Our intent is not to limit it to one year, but these are things we need to do now,” said board member Jill Vorobiev, adding additional repairs may be considered in the future.
The board also plans to launch a process to find out what the community wants for the school’s future. Tentative plans include surveys and community meetings. The board is to decide soon if will hire an outside partner to help develop a survey.
The board decided to eliminate the option of a roof replacement while it continues to pursue a long-term solution. Board members had asked the Facilities Committee for information on the repair option.
“The committee doesn’t recommend doing nothing,” said John Norton, a member of the facilities committee. “It’s prudent risk management to take action in a minimal way to protect our asset.”