A new set of bids for a roofing project at Cumberland County High School came in closer to what the school system had budgeted, but part of the project will likely have to wait a little longer as an alternate bid put the project again over budget.

“As tight as we’ve budgeted, unless [the school board] have a better idea of where we might scrounge up another $170,000, my recommendation would be to do the base bid and soffits,” said Director of Schools Janet Graham during the Tuesday morning county finance committee meeting. “This puts us a little over our bid amount, but I think we can find a way to work with it.”

The bid, awarded to Turner Roofing of Crossville, includes a base bid of $612,500 with $60,000 for replacement of fascia and soffits, for a total of $672,500. 

The bid alternate for F wing was $170,000.

The county received five bids for the roofing project, which included installing a new rubber roof over the existing foam roof on a significant portion of the building. Bid alternates included a new roof for F wing and replacement of fascia board and soffits at the school. 

One bid was disqualified because the company did not fill out the bid envelope properly. Though the company was provided an opportunity to fix the errors, Kim Chamberlin, with Upland Design Group, said the company declined.

Another company submitted a base bid of $251,352 — far below the anticipated $650,000 project price. Chamberlin said he contacted the company, Davis Brothers Roofing in Church Hill, TN, who said there must have been a miscalculation and asked to be released from their bid.

“We would recommend that,” Chamberlin told the committee. “Any time you see something come in this low and force them to take it, it’s a battle from day one.”

That left bids from Turner Roofing of Crossville, E. Cornell Malone Corp. of Knoxville and Dixie Roofing Inc. of LaFollette, TN. 

The first bid from Eskola LLC of Morristown, TN, came in at $916,300 with an alternate of $242,500 for the F wing alternate and $73,800 for soffits and fascia board. It was the only bid received.

Chamberlin told the Cumberland County Board of Education the price was high due to the labor involved in removing the existing foam roof. After talking with the roofing manufacturer, Upland Design revised the specifications for the project to keep the foam roof and install the new roof over it. 

Eskola LLC did not submit a bid for the revised project.

Chamberlin said the roof on F Wing was likely part of the 1996 renovation of the school, with several years of usable life remaining.

Graham said, “It does need to be done, there’s no doubt about it … There’s still some life.”

She said the F Wing roof could possibly be replaced in the 2020-’21 budget.

Graham said CCHS had been painted recently and she had turned down requests to paint the rusted soffits and fascia. 

“I said I can’t justify paying our painters to do the soffits when we’re planning to tear those off. I can’t spend the money to do that twice,” Graham said. 

2nd District Cumberland County Commissioner Nancy Hyder moved to approve the base bid and soffit alternate from Turner Roofing, supported by 9th District Commissioner John Patterson. The motion was unanimously approved.

Graham then moved to release Davis Brothers Roofing from their bid, per the company’s request, supported by Road Superintendent Scott Blaylock. The motion was unanimously approved.

In other business, the committee approved allowing the school system to purchase a new school bus using the 2018-’19 bid. The school system had two buses totaled this past year and will purchase the new bus with funds from the insurance payment for those buses. Cost will be $89,520 for the bus with $2,675 for a camera system from Mid-South Bus Center.

The committee also approved bids for milk and ice cream for the school nutrition department, awarded to Mayfield Dairy Farms LLC, and waste pick up services from Waste Connections of TN (Cumberland Waste Disposal). 

Heather Mullinix is editor of the Crossville Chronicle. She covers schools and education in Cumberland County. She may be reached at hmullinix@crossville-chronicle.com.