Havre Daily News/Nikki Carlson, file photo
Persistent snowfall led to the collapse of a section of Havre High School's roof, over the school's cafeteria, Dec. 30.
Almost six months after the north side of Havre High School’s roof collapsed under the weight of two- to three-foot snow drifts, the Board of Trustees has given the go-ahead to have the reconstructed roof reinforced and redone, to be ready for what this next winter could bring.
At Tuesday night’s meeting, the school board voted unanimously to follow the recommendation of Rodney Blake from Thomas Dean & Hoskins Engineering of Great Falls and approve bids on each of the project’s two steps from Great Falls construction company James Talcott Construction.
The first step will be to redo the structure underneath the roof, where some parts still show signs of stress and minor buckling from the collapse. Some portions of the structure were done below specification back when the roof was built in 1997.
Talcott offered a bid of $357,900, with a recommended additional $88,330.55 in insulation, for a total cost of $446,230.55.
The other bid offered for the project was from Havre’s Clausen & Sons, for $627,579, with an additional $67,681.85 for the recommended insulation, for a total of $695,620.85.
According to Blake, Talcott was able to offer the lower bid because they “are a little slow for the season and were interested in doing this work.”
The second step of the project would be re-roofing the high school, with new steel, plywood and shingle layers, with a recommended use of “heavy-duty” shingles that would be guaranteed to work better for longer.
Talcott again offered the lower bid, of $413,600 with a $29,500 for the heavy shingles and an estimated $85,000 for an additional half-inch layer of plywood on the roof, for the shingles to be held appropriately, for a total of $528,100 for stage 2.
Talcott’s competition in this bid came from fellow Great Falls contractors Maddox Roofing, who offered $533,680, with $58,660 in heavy shingles for a total of $592,340.
According to Blake, Maddox said they would not require the additional half-inch of plywood, which would have avoided the $85,000 Talcott will spend on that part, but their bid was still higher.
The board unanimously approved the total recommendation for a two-step project price of $974,330.55.
The project will be paid for with the high school’s building reserve, which currently contains $957,765.99, with $185,000 coming in each spring for the next two years after last month’s levy vote.
Superintendent Andy Carlson said he expected around $200,000 of the project’s second part, the re-shingling, to be covered by the district’s insurance, since it would be work to recover the large portions of the roof that were damaged over the winter.
When asked how soon construction could start, Blake said that James Talcott told him to call after the meeting and he would be in Havre in the next day or two to begin the process.
According to Blake, while Talcott would be required to be done within 120 days, the contractor felt confident that he could complete the project in less than a month-and-a half.
Blake said he had additional motivation in that if he were not done by the end of August, he would have to hand-seal the roof.
Havre High Assistant Principal Kipp Lewis asked Blake if the project could have the necessary engineering staff or plans to make sure the project is done right, which Blake said would be a part of the process.
During the inspection of the collapse, TD&H engineers found that the last HHS roof construction, in 1997, deviated in quite a few ways from the original plans for the project, which was likely the main cause for the expensive damages this year.