What is Happening Now?
The East Hampton Public Library’s roof will be replaced in the Spring of 2019. Our target start date is in early April and the project should take 60 days to complete.
A notice of invitation to bid was placed on the CT Department of Administrative Services website on January 4, 2019. Bids were opened on February 8, 2019 at Town Hall. 11 bids were received.
Town Council will meet on February 26, 2019 to discuss awarding the contract to the lowest qualified bidder. A copy of their meeting packet with information about the proposed bidder can be found here.
The total project cost was estimated to be $312,000 by Anchor Engineering, the Town’s engineering firm. The town secured all needed money for the project via the Capital Budget and an off budget appropriation approved at a Town Meeting in September 2018. Many bids came in lower than this estimated costs.
Why does the library need a new roof?
The Library’s roof leaks during very heavy rain and snow. The roof leaks most in the Children’s Room along the wall that borders the back parking lot although leaks have also happened in the Community Room.
What has the Town done to mitigate the damage of the roof leaks?
In previous years, the Town’s Public Work’s Department has dispatched workers to rake the roof during periods of heavy snow fall. Public Works has also removed the gutters from the building to prevent ice dams and added heating coils. In addition, Library staff protects materials that could be exposed to leaks by either re-locating them or covering them with tarps.
Hasn’t this been a problem for a long time?
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, parts of the roof were replaced. The then Town Manager Alan Bergren had extensive conversations with the builders, the architects and the Town Attorney. Fixes were made to the roof at that time. Later in the 1990s the roof received new shingles and decking.
Why is this project so expensive?
Unfortunately, this project is more complex than just new shingles. The Town’s engineering firm Anchor Engineering brought in two roofing specialists to examine and assess the library roof during the Summer of 2018. Both specialists agreed that the problem stems from the air flow beneath the Library’s roof. To fix the problem, Anchor Engineering presented the Town Council with five possible options. Council chose the Town Engineer’s recommended course of action to build a roof on top of the current roof to create better airflow.
Do the solar panels contribute to the problem?
Anchor Engineering believes the problem stems from the airflow beneath the Library Roof rather than the solar panels. The solar panel project was approved by Town Council in June of 2010 and were issued a building permit in August of 2010. As detailed above, the roof has had problems well before the solar panels were installed in 2010. The solar panels will have to be removed before work can begin on the roof replacement project.
How do we know how much this project will cost?
The Town’s engineering firm, Anchor Engineering, worked with their roofing specialists to estimate the total project cost.
Where is the money coming from?
In FY 17/18, the Town included $89,000 in the Capital Budget for Community Center – Roof Repairs. This was approved at the budget referendum in 2017. An additional appropriation of $223,000 was approved by Town Meeting in September of 2018.
Why was there a request in the FY18/19 capital budget for $91,000 for the roof that was then removed?
Before Anchor Engineering delivered cost estimates on the roof project to the Town Council in the summer of 2018, the Public Works department was tasked with estimating the total cost for roof repairs. They estimated that the Town would need an additional $91,000 on top of the previously approved $89,000 to complete the project. As such, the Town included $91,000 in the Capital Budget for Community Center Roof Repairs for the FY 18/19 budget. This money was included in the first two budget referendum votes in May and June of 2018. Both budget votes failed. In the summer of 2018, Anchor Engineering delivered cost estimates for the project and it was found that $91,000 would not be enough to complete the project. The Board of Finance then removed the $91,0000 from the Capital Budget and proposed an off-budget appropriation for the additional money needed to meet the cost estimates prepared by Anchor Engineering: $223,000.
When was the project put out to bid?
The bid for the roof replacement was posted in January of 2019. The Town’s engineering firm, Anchor Engineering was responsible for preparing the bid package.
What will the Town do this Winter to mitigate any further damage?
Public Works employees will still be dispatched during heavy snow to check the roof for leaks. Library staff will again re-locate or tarp materials that are potentially at risk for water damage.
Could the money for the roof be taken away?
The money for the roof could only be re-appropriated by Town Meeting.
I still have questions, who can I ask?
We’re always happy to hear from you. If you have any additional questions you can call the Library Director, Ellen Paul at 860.267.6621, Town Manager, Mike Maniscalco at 860-267-4468 or attend a Library Advisory Board (LAB) Meeting. LAB Meetings are held the first Monday of the month at 7pm in the Library Community Room.