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LONGMEADOW — The statement of interest for a roof replacement project at Center Elementary School was approved by the Longmeadow Select Board during its Feb. 20 meeting.

With the statement approved, the project request will now be sent to the Massachusetts School Building Authority for consideration. The deadline for this application is March 1, Town Manager Lyn Simmons said. The SOI was previously approved by the School Committee at its Feb. 16 meeting, she stated.

Simmons explained at the Feb. 20 meeting that Longmeadow has “been talking about this for several years” and intended to submit a SOI in 2023. However, the MSBA has not accepted applications since 2022.

The Center School SOI will be submitted to the MSBA through the Accelerated Repair Program, which focuses on roof projects or windows and doors for 2024 applications. Each require the repaired element to be a certain age to qualify. A roof must be at least 25 years old and windows must be at least 30 years old, the MSBA stated.

While the windows at Center School also need repair, only the roof currently qualifies under the MSBA’s age requirements, Simmons stated while describing the SOI to the Select Board.

“We did not feel that it was responsible to wait and prolong the roof issues any longer,” she said, explaining why the School Department was not waiting another year for the windows to qualify.

While roof projects submitted to the Accelerated Repair Program can be replaced or restored, the Center School SOI states that “the roof requires a full replacement due to leaking that is impacting the normal operation and educational environment.”

It further highlights that student learning has been “frequently” altered due to the roof’s condition to the extent that a “two hallways, a stairwell, faculty bathroom, and three classrooms were inaccessible” after a “recent snow/ice event.” The SOI did not specify when this event occurred or if the rooms are still impacted. The school made an announcement on its website on Jan. 15 that it was “experiencing winter weather woes related to our roof” that required the temporary relocation of two kindergarten classrooms and various efforts to dry out portions of the school.

“We do anticipate there will be quite a few applications. So, if we are not successful, we will likely be having some other kinds of conversations about how we can further this work. We have some money set aside through capital funding and community preservation for the windows, but it’s not nearly enough to do the full project that we need,” Simmons said.

If the SOI is approved, work at Center School would likely not occur until 2026 or 2027, Longmeadow Public Schools Superintendent M. Martin O’Shea stated at the School Committee’s Jan. 30 meeting.

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