A $900,000 funding request to extend roof warranties on five elementary schools is heading to the town's Board of Finance.
But First Selectman Sherri Steeneck and Selectman James Walsh first want the Town Facilities Commission, a group of volunteer building pros who live in Fairfield, to review the request from the Board of Education.
Steeneck, who was serving as chairman of the town's Board of Selectmen for the first time on Wednesday, said she didn't have a problem approving the request so it could be passed on to the Board of Finance, but wanted the Town Facilities Commission to review whether extending the warranties made sense financially.
Walsh said he agreed with Steeneck, noting that neither he nor Steeneck was a roofing expert.
Thomas Cullen, the school district's director of operations, said there wasn't much time to act on the $901,467 request because some of the warranties were due to expire soon, and the manufacturer wanted six months' notice if the town wanted warranties extended, though he added that flexibility existed in that timeframe.
The $901,467 wouldn't just cover five-year extensions on the roof warranties. The town first would have to fund an analysis of the roofs' conditions through an infrared thermal scan, make repairs and then analyze the roofs' conditions after the repairs to quality for the extensions. The warranties also wouldn't cover all of the roofs on the five elementary schools.
The five elementary schools are Holland Hill School, North Stratfield School, Osborn Hill School, Riverfield School and Roger Sherman School.
Cullen said the school district hoped to get another 10 years of life out of the roofs, and Walsh said an analysis by the Board of Education stated that the warranty extension and another 10 years of life on the roofs would cost 20 percent of what new roofs would cost.
"It's cheap money in comparison to a roof replacement," said Sal Morabito, the school district's director of construction, security and safety.
Cullen said the roofs were generally in good condition, though some showed wet insulation.
Three of the warranties expire this year and two expire at the beginning of next year, Cullen said. "We do call in the manufacturer when there are repairs needed, and we've saved the district and the town a lot of money. We like to get the maximum life out of our roofs," Cullen said. "If we extend [warranties] five years, we could hopefully get another 10 [years of life] if good preventative maintenance is involved."
Since July 2006, the school district had about $189,000 worth of manufacturer warranty repairs "completed or committed" on about 775,000 square feet of roofing under warranty, according to a handout from the Board of Education.
Another handout given to the Board of Selectmen had the following breakdown on roof areas and expiration of warranties, which differs slightly from Cullen's statement on when roof warranties on the five elementary schools expire:
* North Stratfield School - 38,200 square feet due to expire Aug. 30; 20,600 square feet due to expire June 14, 2016.
* Osborn Hill School - 40,300 square feet due to expire Oct. 30; 4,150 square feet due to expire July 15, 2017.
* Roger Sherman School - 33,260 square feet due to expire Aug. 30; 6,150 square feet expired in 1996.
* Riverfield School - 35,800 square feet due to expire Sept. 23; 7,400 square feet expired in 1997; 2,550 square feet expires in 2023.
* Holland Hill School - 29,960 square feet due to expire in 2019.