ELIZABETHTOWN — An Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School roof has proven more leaky than had been thought, so the district is making it top priority.
That means other work planned for the voter-approved 2013 EXCEL capital project will be put on hold.
“Only one section of the 1989 roof was planned for the capital project,” Superintendent Scott Osborne explained in a news release.
“Since Nov. 1, we’ve experienced new leaks in the older roof — not in the predictable locations we identified last year when planning the project.”
The leaks are not disrupting classes, he told the Press-Republican, but flooding on Nov. 1 had temporarily forced students and staff out of the affected classrooms.
”We haven’t had that severe of a condition since, but we really need to be a little more proactive before it gets any worse,” he said.
Water that makes its way through the roof travels along a network of steel beams beneath to cause leaks in different locations, he said.
Osborne emphasized that the water issues are only affecting the portions of the roof upgraded in 1989. No leaks have been reported in the classrooms and gymnasium added to the school in 2000.
In addition to the leaks, asbestos-containing materials were discovered in portions of the 1952 roof structure beneath the 1989 roof sections.
Atlantic Testing Labs of Canton identified them during an inspection for the original plans to repair a roof section over the music room and adjacent area.
“Asbestos is considered a hazardous material to human health, but it is not in a hazardous condition where it is ‘entrapped’ in the current roofing,” Osborne said in the release.
“However, when the roofing is replaced, the asbestos roofing will be disturbed and must be abated in order to install the new roof system.
”The board would like to address the entire problem correctly: abate the roof properly and replace the roof to fix the leaks.”