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The Bladen County School Board on Monday awarded two contracts to replace the roofs at East and West Bladen High Schools, which they have been saying was their most pressing facilities need.

The board awarded a contract for $601,000 to Biltmore Construction, LLC of Hope Mills, N.C., to replace the roof at East Bladen High School. That amounts to about 131,725 square feet.  This does not include the pyramid option of the roof.

In a second action item, the board awarded a contract for $610,980 to Industrial Contract Service of Wilmington, N.C. to replace the roof at West Bladen High School. The total square footage at West is approximately 130,975 without the pyramid option.

The original roofs on the two high schools date back to when the schools opened in 2001 and 2002 – more than 18 years ago.  The roofs had a 20-year life expectancy and leaks have been frequent over the last several years, especially since damage from Hurricane Florence in 2018.

“We do have significant leaks,” Superintendent Robert Taylor said. “We’ve had to relocate classrooms, replace and repair furniture and instructional materials, carpeting.”

Throughout the last several years, the roofs have been patched and ceiling tiles replaced often.  At this point, patching the roofs is no longer sufficient to control the water infiltration.

The new roofs will be a traditional install but with needed additions and will meet certain state requirements including protection against high winds. East Bladen sits in a 130 mph wind zone while West Bladen sits in a 120 mph wind zone.

Maintenance director Rusty Worley informed the board “the new roofs will be more energy-efficient, with additional insulation.”

Work is scheduled to begin on the two roofs simultaneously within the next 30 days and is expected to be completed by the end of June 2020.

The school system maintains over 1.1 million square feet of roof across all schools in the district.

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