The story of the Municipal Center roof…
During the rehabbing of the former Bridgeport Hall to serve as the Municipal Center, there was much discussion whether or not to replace the roof. The contractor, O&G, assessed the roof as in good condition and not needing replacement. The Board of Selectmen concurred, except for First Selectman Joe Borst. Public Building and Site Commission supported the opinion of the contractor. The roof was not replaced.
The building was occupied by town/BoE offices in November 2009. The first real test of the roof came in March 2010. A driving rain with winds that caused horizontal gusts resulted in leaks along the roof edge and through window casings. The most affected areas were BoE offices, IT, and the Town Clerk’s area, particularly in the area of the vault. The problem was determined to be caused by ‘bad’ flashing along the roof edge, behind the gutters, and poor sealing of window casings. Repairs were made by O&G as part of their contract with some participation of town employees. Those leaks have not re-occurred since the flashing and sealing repairs.
From time to time we also experienced a leak in the main hall by the east entrance. That leak was determined to be caused by deteriorated caulking around a cupola. That caulking has been re-done and the leak has not re-occurred. The cupola itself, however, is not in good shape and needs repairs.
This past winter we experienced some damage to the gutter system from ice-damming, located on the south side of the building facing NYA. Temporary fixes were put into place this spring but we need to repair the damaged area before this winter sets in.
Two weeks ago we had folks from Silktown, the firm doing the MS roof, have a look at the damaged gutter system and cupola, and while on the roof, do a walk-around to check on its general condition. The unsolicited opinion of Silktown from that on-site observation is that the roof is in generally good shape. This does not constitute an in-depth assessment, but rather a general observation.
These are the facts as I know them. I have no agenda to hide problems from the community and certainly do not feel any personal responsibility for the roof not being replaced during the construction of the Municipal Center. Those decisions were made prior to my involvement. The bottom line on this issue is that the roof itself seems to be in okay shape. We saved the likely $500,000 or more cost for replacement work that did not need to be done at that time. The replacement issue will be faced someday, but not now. And there does not seem to be significant repairs facing us, other than to fix the gutters/drains damaged by ice and re-do the cupola. As with any roof, we need to maintain it.