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Nevis School's weather-related costs climbing

Costs of the cold and snowy winter are adding up for the Nevis School District.

Snow removal on the school roof was completed earlier this month by a crew from Herzog Roofing at a cost of $13,000. Added to the estimate of $35,000 for repairs for water damage caused by a frozen sprinkler line in the community education building, that means almost $50,000 in unforeseen expenses for the district.

Removing snow was done earlier this month after other districts had problems with roofs collapsing.

"We had just an incredible amount of snow weight sitting on the roof," Superintendent Gregg Parks told the school board Monday. "In some of the spots, the snow was 10 feet deep. There was a tremendous amount of weight on there, and you could actually see it sagging in that area between the cafeteria, the custodial room, Julie Nelson's room and Sharon Hadrava's room. Julie probably had 10 or 12 baskets collecting all of the water that was pouring into her room, so it was a good idea to get that off there."

Herzog's spent five days cleaning the snow off the roof.

"It's one of those things where you never know," Parks said. "You take a look around and Bagley's roof caved in the elementary. Frazee had one that caved in. We didn't want to be another headline."

After the meeting, Parks explained that the snow got to be so deep in some areas due to drifting.

"It piled up deep anywhere we had a break in the roofline, particularly with the roofs that connect with our small gym," he said. "The winds would blow the snow across the top and it would settle in the valleys next to the gym."

He said Herzog Roofing brought a crew of 8 to 10 workers during the week of March 4-8 to complete the job.

"They used a combination of snow blowers and sled shovels to get it off the roof," he said. "Most of the work was done manually because of the membrane on the roof. They steadily chipped away at it by dumping it over the edge on the north side into a pile that was removed by our Bobcat."

Frozen water pipe damages jump to $35,000

Parks said the district is continuing to work with their insurance company to determine coverage for damage caused by a frozen water pipe that burst and flooded the basement of community education building in February.

Parks said the damage estimate has gone up from $25,000 to about $35,000. "I think everyone recognizes that the extreme cold caused it," he said.

Replacement windows will save energy

Another building issue discussed by the board was the need for new windows. The Nevis School Board accepted a bid from Hy-Tech Construction of Brainerd for replacement of 25 windows at a total cost of $65,337. This is part of the district's 10-year plan for long-term facility maintenance.

"We made some major league changes as far as the kind of window," Parks said. "We realized the crank-out window systems we have now are prone to break."

Parks said the district expects to save money on maintenance, having spent about $15,000 four years ago repairing the old windows. "Most of them are broken again now," he said.

The new slide windows on the north side will be clear, while those on the south side will have dark tinting to keep the building cooler.