After water damage, Westborough seeks to replace Hastings roof

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After water damage, Westborough seeks to replace Hastings roof
Hastings’ roof has failed, according to district leaders. (Photo/Tami White)

WESTBOROUGH – The heavy rainstorms that inundated the region earlier this month has led Westborough Public Schools (WPS) to add a request to this spring’s Town Meeting.

The roof at Hastings Elementary School “has basically failed,” Superintendent Amber Bock told the School Committee during its meeting on Jan. 17.

During the first heavy rain on Jan. 9, Bock went to Hastings to inspect the damage. She said that when she arrived and entered the building, “six-seven tiles” had landed on the floor, and “water was pouring through.”

Walking through the building, there were multiple areas of water entry and damage.

“We were fortunate that the majority of damage was contained to the middle area of the building and hallways areas, which saved us from classroom damage,” said Bock.

The roof was cleared of snow and emergency repairs were made. After a second heavy rain on Jan. 13, Bock said there were “no new leaks.”

Bock said the main cause is the rubber used to protect the roof from the elements.

“It breaks down over time,” she said.

In addition to filing insurance claims, WPS is seeking an override with the state’s Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, and it is preparing a draft warrant article for Town Meeting.

Bock said the schools will seek funds to replace the roof. The Hastings roof is the same age as the Armstrong roof, which also needed recent emergency replacement.

Other warrant articles

Westborough schools has posted five requests in the Town Meeting Warrant, all within Article 9 – the Capital Improvement Plan. This includes a $5 million request for Americans with Disabilities Act and Massachusetts Architectural Access Board construction at Hastings.

Among the school district’s other requests is $60,000 to fund architectural design and engineering to repair Westborough High School’s exterior rim.

The high school also may see work on its roof. The district is requesting $192,000 for the architectural design and engineering for the restoration of the C wing roof. According to the warrant, this is needed for future roof load needs, including for air handlers and structural support for solar panels.

WPS is also requesting $504,000 to go toward the replacement of 70,000 square feet of the high school’s A and B wing roof.

Mill Pond Elementary School also may receive funding for its roof. The district is requesting $1.1 million to restore the Mill Pond roof. Bock said all these articles will remain on the warrant.

Westborough’s annual Town Meeting will convene at 9 a.m. on March 23 at Westborough High School.

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