The Merillat Complex had roofing renovations begin Oct. 6 and they were completed Oct. 24, missing several days in that period due to rain, while the Becker Hall renovations began Oct. 30. In order to adhere to maintenance needs on campus, maintenance felt new roofs for both properties were a high-priority need, Greg Smitley, treasurer and vice president for business and finance, said.
The PLEX roofs are metal and are routinely re-coated once every 10 to 12 years with a polymer-colored coating. Not all PLEX roofs were replaced as much of the leaking is due to the age of the flat roofs, which will be scheduled for replacement at a future date, Jerry Gressley, director of maintenance and physical plant, said.
“The roofs, they’re in bad shape,” Smitley said. “They needed to be replaced before they really started leaking profusely and cause damage in the rest of the facility. … We are just trying to be proactive in preventing any future damage.”
Roof renovations for Becker Hall will take approximately six weeks to complete, Gressley said. Becker’s current roof was installed in 1991 with a life expectancy of 20 to 25 years.
“How you can usually tell if the roof is shot, those shingles start to curl,” Smitley said. “They start curling, and these are just about curled in half. You have to walk back a little ways to see it but you can just see what kind of shape it’s in.”
The necessity for replacement is high because the roof has rapidly deteriorated in recent years, Gressley said. Maintenance will also be replacing the siding, overhangs, windows and trim on each dormer and rebuilding the roof gutter overhangs on the facility.
Both roofs will collectively cost about $375,000 to repair, President Sherilyn Emberton, Ed.D., said. The university will fund the project with a combination of internal and borrowed funds, which until recently was not possible.
“We really just did not have it within operation,” Emberton said. “But we had paid down on a couple of loans and had an opportunity to actually refinance those loans at a lower interest rate and cut our payment and still get $375,000 to do roof repairs. So we were thrilled at this opportunity.”
When asked about how much money would be taken from the university’s budget and how much would be from borrowed funds, Smitley said, “Well, I don’t know if that’s important, really, in our discussion. I’d rather not get into that. I don’t know if that hurts, but I don’t know if that helps.”
“We were actually very thrilled to be able to do this,” Emberton said. “And it just shows our further investment in our plant facility.”