In RSU 20

Directors carry over $60,000 for Robertson roof repair

By Tanya Mitchell | Jul 14, 2012
Photo by: Tanya Mitchell The RSU 20 Board of Directors elected Tony Bagley of Searsport to serve as the new board chairman Tuesday night, July 10.

Belfast — Either spend the money to repair the roof at the former Robertson School, or face the possibility of losing Sweetser as a tenant.

That was the message from newly elected chairman of the Regional School Unit 20 Board of Directors Tony Bagley during the regular meeting at Belfast Area High School Tuesday night, July 10.

Bagley was speaking to a presentation from fellow director Stephen Hopkins, who sits on the buildings and grounds committee for the RSU.

Hopkins said the committee recently sought bids from area contractors to obtain estimates on what it would cost to replace the shingled roof at the former Robertson School, a building that the district has leased to Sweetser since 2006.

Sweetser, a Maine-based behavioral health care organization that serves children, adults and families, uses the building as a school. The staff offer youth, between the ages of five and 20, special education services that address both behavioral and learning impairments, according to the organization's website.

Hopkins said the committee met Monday night, July 9, and opened the bids from contractors who responded to the query, only to find the quoted costs came in above the $60,000 cap the committee set for the project.

"We voted to send it out for a re-bid," said Hopkins.

Superintendent Brian Carpenter said the committee could expect to see the new bids by Monday, July 16.

Carpenter said the district still has cash to carry over from the budget year that ended June 30, and suggested directors could apply $60,000 from that cash on hand to the cost of fixing the roof. Doing so would not impact the 2012-13 budget, Carpenter said.

While Carpenter said he was unsure of the exact amount the district has left from the 2011-12 budget, he said there was enough money available to cover the cost of the project.

Director Denise Dakin made a motion to carry over the $60,000 and use the money to repair the roof, a motion that earned a swift second.

Director Orya Shomron asked for more information about "the nature of the roof situation." Bagley said the problem is getting serious and it's time the district did some maintenance on the building.

"The roof is leaking so bad we're facing the loss of a tenant," said Bagley. "We've done basically nothing to that building since we leased it to Sweetser. We either do it, or maybe we lose a tenant and cause more damage to the building. It's that bad."

Director Sharon Catus asked by how much the first round of bids came in over budget, and Hopkins said they ranged from $65,000 to $90,000. Carpenter said one of the bids came in under the $60,000 mark, but it was because the contractor deviated from the bid specifications.

After some additional discussion, the directors agreed to apply $60,000 in carryover funds to cover the roof repairs.

In other news, the board elected its new leadership, with directors choosing Bagley as the new chairman and selecting Gerry Reid as the vice chair.

Reid was not present for Tuesday's meeting, but when Director Alexa Schweikert inquired about whether Reid was willing to serve, Director Debora Riley said she had spoken with Reid prior to Tuesday's meeting. Riley said Reid had indicated to her that he was willing to serve in that capacity if he was elected to the post.

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