PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - Superintendent Randy Wilkes tells me the building springing leaks is no surprise since the roof was expected to last 20 years and it's now in its 24. He says the Phenix City Board of Education saw this coming, but will now have to make a permanent fix sooner rather than later.
"It's just obvious. Five gallon buckets sitting out in the hall. Working in the school system-- school systems -- everybody's got a leak somewhere. We're accustomed to seeing the five gallon bucket and we know what that means," Wilkes explains.
Wilkes says he noticed the problem the first time he set foot inside Central High School. The roof and domes on the decades old building leaks, letting water seep into the hallways.
He adds "it's leaking in a number of places. Our maintenance department, from my understanding, has been working around the clock to do the best they can in preparing that roof."
Tending to multiple penetrations and leaking air conditioning units on the flat roof top before start of school just weeks away. Wilkes says a more permanent solution could be hundreds of thousands of dollars and several months away. It's a plan he says was already in the works when he was appointed.
"Our board and the city have had the foresight to secure bond money," Wilkes said. "And part of the original plan to use that money was to replace the roof. Really, all we're doing is expediting it in the process."
The original estimates for a job this size were around one million dollars. And after personally surveying the roof Wilkes tells us the problem requires more than just a band-aid.
Wilkes explains "I don't see any other choice than to replace the entire roof."
Superintendent Wilkes says the leaks in the roof will not affect the start of the upcoming school year at Central High School. He tells me he imagines the repairs will begin as soon as school ends in 2015. For more about the leaks and the superintendent's personal survey of the roof head to The Superintendent's Corner.