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Fitch High School Roof Replacement: A Letter to the Facilities Director for Groton Schools

Fitch High School Roof Replacement - It is my hope that the RTM will consider this information before voting on this project at the February 13, 2013 RTM meeting.

Dear Mr. Robarge,

It has come to my attention that the Town of Groton Board of
Education does not need to spend $200,000 to change the roof pitch at Fitch High
School.

The state statute governing school building projects in Connecticut,
General Statutes Section 10-291 (b) (2) (A), does in fact allow local Board of
Educations options.

The relevant subsection of that statute added in 2003 is
included below and shows that all the Board of Education had to do in order to
receive a waiver from the state, was to have a licensed engineer or architect
sign a statement attesting that replacement of the roof at Fitch High School
with one having a pitch with the current 1/4" would not compromise safety.

Hopefully, it is not too late and the RTM will understand the option available
to the Board of Education in order to save Groton taxpayers $200,000. I would
appreciate your comments regarding this matter, specifically if there is
information you possess that is in conflict with General Statutes Section 10-291
(b) (2) (A).

Thank you in advance for you prompt attention to this
matter.
Rosanne Kotowski
RTM Representative - District 6

(b) The Department of Education shall not approve a school
building project plan or site, as applicable, if: (2) The plans incorporate new
roof construction or total replacement of an existing roof and do not provide
for the following:

(A) A minimum roof pitch of one-half inch per foot, except
that for a total replacement of an existing roof, the Commissioner of Education
may permit the minimum roof pitch to be reduced to one-quarter inch per foot if
the commissioner finds, based upon written certification from a licensed
architect or engineer provided by the town or regional board of education, that
(i) such reduction of roof pitch will not impede drainage or cause pooling of
water that may leak into the building to a greater degree than that of a roof of
a minimum roof pitch of one-half inch per foot, (ii) the cost of replacing the
roof with a minimum roof pitch of one-half inch per foot would substantially
exceed the cost of replacing the roof with a minimum roof pitch of one-quarter
inch per foot, (iii) the time needed to replace the roof with a minimum roof
pitch of one-half inch per foot would be substantially longer than the time
needed to replace the roof with a minimum roof pitch of one-quarter inch per
foot, and (iv) the existing building would not support a roof with a roof pitch
of one-half inch per foot without a substantial rebuilding of the existing
building.

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augie42 January 28, 2013 at 01:14 PM
We have already authorized over $600,000 to fix the leaking roof at Fitch. When we voted on that we were given 100% assurance and confidence that this would resolve the issue. My question is who is responsible for the repair? This lack of oversight (along with many others) is ruining the credibility of Groton Board of Education. You can't tell me no one knew of this statute....since many of my constituents easily found it on an internet search. Keep your eyes and ears open. To Mr Robarge, I suggest you ask Wes Greenleaf why this was done without a waiver. Do we not have Engineers/Architects that can handle this issue? Can we hold vendors responsible? Thanks to efforts of Rosanne Kotowski, Dick Voyer, Andew Parrella and others who are forcing Groton to be more transparent and fiscally responsible. Scott Aument, Chair, Groton Avocates for Tax Efficiency, RTM rep Dist 6.

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