Proposed school bus barn needs roof repairs

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September 7, 2011 - 12:00 AM

The roof of the building that once housed James Implement, 510 N. State St., and now is Allen County’s needs “fairly intensive” repairs to its roof, commissioners were told Tuesday morning.
Scott Stanley, director of operations for USD 257, inspected the roof last week after he and Brian Pekarek, superintendent of schools, proposed leasing part of the building for a bus barn.
“The roof’s down to the fabric in places and it’s pulling away from the parapet walls,” Stanley, trained educationally and by occupation in construction principles, told commissioners.
Before a lease is negotiated, Stanley said Boren Roofing would inspect the roof more extensively.
“Maybe it would be better for you (the district) to buy the building and avoid issues” with cost of roof repairs being a part of a lease agreement, said Commissioner Gary McIntosh.
Pekarek didn’t leap at the suggestion.
“We have so many buildings” already in the district’s inventory, he said, and that he would “have to talk to the board.”
“We should consider all the possibilities,” Commissioner Dick Works interjected. And, “we need the numbers,” from the roof estimate as well as what commissioners think the building is worth before setting cost of a lease.
That’s where Alan Weber, county counselor, will enter the equation.
“Alan needs to figure the value,” McIntosh said. “If we decide to lease it” — sale remains a possibility — “we probably should fix the roof,” and have that increased value of the building determine lease cost.
Pekarek handed information to commissioners he gleaned from other school officials in the county, with e-mail responses from each.
K.B. Criss, USD 258 (Humboldt) superintendent said, “We would not have a problem with you (USD 257) pursuing the building from the county for your school district.”
David Hardage, USD 256 (Moran-Elsmore) said, “… we certainly have no objection to USD 257 working out an arrangement with the county.”
John Masterson, Allen County Community College president, said, “The college would have no problem with USD 257 leasing the EMS building from the county.”
Pekarek sought the input after commissioners mentioned a week ago they thought it appropriate to consider all school districts in the county.
If USD 257 is successful is working a deal for the building, it also would build a fenced compound directly west of it for storage of the district’s 26 buses.
Stanley said a week ago that the building’s high roof would permit buses in the building for mechanical work and oil changes, things which can’t be done at the present bus lot a block to the south, which has no building and a rocked surface.
For years the district has leased the lot for $750 a year. Now the lot is for sale, which prompted USD 257 to seek a place with more space and building.

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