Teacher Lyn Gatz shows where water pours into her classroom at Mount Desert Island High School whenever a strong wind blows rain against the side of the building. PHOTO BY DICK BROOM

Leaky wall fix to cost $244K

BAR HARBOR — Whenever a strong east wind blows rain against the outside of Lyn Gatz’s classroom at Mount Desert Island High School, she knows that water is going to stream down the inside wall.

“It happens on a pretty regular basis when we get stormy weather,” she said. “I have a set of towels that the custodians have given me, and we try to absorb the water as soon as possible, just so we don’t have any rotting. But it is showing damage.”

Principal Matt Haney said the windows in Mark Puglisi’s classroom also are “leaking like showers every time it rains hard,” and that several other rooms in the school’s academic wing have leakage problems, though not as serious.

Haney said inspections have revealed that, when the classroom wing’s siding and windows were replaced in 2000, some of the installation was done incorrectly.

“The whole layering of protection is backwards,” he said. “It was put together right enough that it held long enough to get past the warranty.”

Not only was the siding and window installation done improperly, Haney said, but the replacement windows were of poor quality.

Ellsworth architect Mike Sealander assessed the leakage problem last year and recommended replacing the siding and windows. He estimated the cost at about $244,000.

The high school trustees, who are responsible for the buildings and grounds, voted last week to include that amount in the budget for the coming year.

“The idea is to completely rebuild the walls,” Haney said. “They’re going to replace the insulation, sheeting, windows and siding. It should be not only weather-proof, but much more energy efficient, too.”

He said it would cost about $208,000 to correct problems where leaking has been occurring and $36,000 for areas that are “not yet leaking but were installed the same way.”

Haney said the project should be put out to bid as soon as possible so that work can begin when the school year ends after graduation June 12.

Another capital improvement project approved by the high school trustees last week and tentatively schedule for this summer is the refurbishing of the running track and tennis courts at a cost of about $90,000.

“The track needs a once-in-about-15-year resurfacing; it will be like having a brand new track,” Haney said.

The trustees also have agreed to spend up to $72,000 to redesign and rebuild the area outside the main entrance to the gymnasium. That project will include the creation of a turnout for buses.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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