Willard repair costs debated | News, Sports, Jobs


WARREN – The Warren City School District has spent nearly $ 2 million over the past two years on the roof of Willard PK-8 School to address issues that experts and school leaders say have probably existed since or shortly after the construction of the building. than 10 years ago.

Thorough roof examinations reveal problems “go further” than no one had first thought, said John Lacy, executive director of business operations.

Principals explained that the process of solving the problem is like peeling an onion: you peel off a layer to discover another problem.

Now, school district officials and representatives from the Ohio Facilities Building Commission and their attorneys are working to determine if the district has recourse to recoup some of that investment.

But that’s a long way off due to the time that has passed since the school opened in 2009.

“We do not know the cause, whether they were caused by the architects during the design, were made during construction or a combination of the two”, Lacy said. “We are working closely with the state on this because whatever the outcome, they (the state) will be impacted because they paid 80% for the construction of the building.”

The district invested $ 222,000 to fix what was initially identified as a ventilation problem that damaged part of the roof.

Superintendent of Schools Steve Chiaro brought in Phillips Sekanick Architects from Warren to find out the cause of the problem. At first, the company said it had found insufficient ventilation between the roof, its insulation and a metal underlay.

This contributed to moisture in the roof, which rotted part of its wood and metal decking.

Phillips Sekanick Architects, who was not the architect of the construction project; DeSalvo Construction of Hubbard, the building contractor; and Boak and Sons, which has a maintenance contract with the district, worked to determine an end cause.


“My understanding is that there were two errors in the original design – inadequate attic ventilation and unfinished ceiling drywall (above the acoustic ceiling) – which allowed the humid air conditioning to dump. ‘enter the attic “, JC Benton, an OFCC spokesperson, said.

The district announced at an education council meeting in June 2020 that it had signed a contract to replace the ventilation and less than 50% of the roof.

In July, however, it was determined that more than 90 percent of the school’s roof was damaged by moisture trapped between the roof and the metal sheeting between it and the classrooms.

The roofing contractor said there was so much moisture in the metal decking channels causing severe water damage that the water had to be removed, according to Lacy. He noted that the problem was not visible from below and was not evident during interior or exterior inspections. Once the ventilation project began in 2020, the damage was discovered when work crews removed part of the roof to install corrective ventilation measures.

“This should not happen to a building that opened in 2009” Lacy said. “We don’t have these issues on any of our other buildings. “

Lacy said the cost to build the Willard School was $ 17.3 million. Roof replacement and repair costs total about one-tenth of that, or $ 1.7 million, including the initial $ 222,000.

Boak and Sons has done the repair work and is expected to be completed this month.

A company called VEC Systems made the first roof on Willard.

The 10-year construction warranty has expired, so without legal challenge, the cost of roof replacement falls on the school district.

Warren replaced his buildings in the early 2000s with funds received from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, formerly known as the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission.

Since the Ohio School Reconstruction Program began in 1997, the commission has completed installation work in 303 of 612 districts, investing more than $ 13 billion in the construction of more than 1,245 new schools in the ‘Ohio, according to Benton.

Warren was given permission to construct four PK-8 buildings and a new high school. Willard was the second of the new PK-8 buildings completed. The architectural firm Fanning Howey, with offices in Celina and Columbus, carried out the initial design of the school. It was introduced by OFCC.


The neighborhood noticed problems in the building from 2011, two years after it opened.

“We made ad hoc repairs as and when we found them” said Lacy, who took charge of the district’s business operations last year.

For much of this period, the district operated under its 10-year construction warranty.

Hively Construction of Canfield was originally contracted to build Willard, but he was pulled from the project before it was completed. Lacy said he didn’t know why Hively was taken off.

DeSalvo Construction of Hubbard was hired to complete the project.

“The state of Ohio has a lot of skin in there too. The architects approved by the State carried out most of the work on the building ”, Lacy said.

“At this stage, any legal action would be prohibited by the OFCC, since the limitation period has expired, as well as the rest status”, Benton said.

In addition to the roofing issue, Lacy said the neighborhood also had a problem because the building’s toilet chimney was improperly installed, causing an odor in the building. Additionally, an 8-inch drain spout entered a 4-inch drain, causing periodic flooding.

“The problem was somewhere between design and construction” he said.

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