Consultant selected for $1.2 million roof repair project

By Dick Mason, The Observer November 02, 2012 02:07 pm

The La Grande School District is a major step closer to starting its $1.2 million roof replacement project.

The La Grande School Board Wednesday named Hutchison Smith Architects of Boise to serve as the roofing consultant of the project, which will encompass the repair of four roofs. The firm will be responsible for organizing the process through which bids for the roof repair projects will be submitted. HSA will also supervise all the roof replacement projects.

Don Hutchison, the owner of HSA, will do all of the work as the roofing consultant. He has four decades of experience in roofing work and has done work for many school districts in Idaho and at Boise State University and the University of Idaho. 

HSA of Boise submitted the lowest bid among the five firms vying for the consultant contract. Also submitting bids were A-Tec of Canby, $17,965; DBS of Boise, $33,000; Schaber Roof Consultants of West Linn, $36,740; and Professional of Portland, $37,850.

La Grande School District Superintendent Larry Glaze said HSA was selected as a result of its low bid and because the firm had “very, very strong recommendation” from the district’s Qualified Zone Academy Bond Committee, which is overseeing the roof project. The work will be funded with a no-interest loan via the federal QZAB program. QZAB loans are given by banks who receive federal tax credits for providing interest-free loans to school districts.

Sterling Bank of Island City will provide the $1.2 million QZAB loan to the La Grande School District. Glaze credits the work of Ryan Hildebrandt, branch manager of Sterling Bank of Island City, with playing a key role in helping his school district get its $1.2 million QZAB loan.

Hildebrandt worked closely with the school district’s QZAB committee, which is co-chaired by school board member Greg Blackman and Chris Panike, the school district’s director of business and operations.

The roof work the committee will oversee will be done in two phases:

• Phase I: The entire 43,000-square-foot roof of the high school’s west building will be torn off and replaced. This work will start in June and be completed by the end of August.

• Phase II: The roofs of the east building of the high school, Greenwood Elementary and Willow Elementary will torn off and replaced. This work will be done in the summer of 2014.

Many portions of the roofs to be replaced have been leaking for years. The roof over the high school library leaks so constantly that buckets are placed under the area where the water falls and sometimes a potted plant is put there. Glaze said it is important to address the roof problems promptly.

“We want to stop the leaking before it starts to degrade the infrastructure of the buildings.”