The Cumberland County Board of Education hopes it can move forward with a roofing project at Cumberland County High School this summer.

The board voted to reject the single bid on the project, which was about twice the amount originally budgeted. Instead, new bids are being sought.

“We already have it back out on the street for bids,” Kim Chamberlin with Upland Design told the board during its May 30 meeting. “Bids will be received on June 20 … We didn’t want to waste any more time than necessary.”

Chamberlin said the budget had been based on the cost of the roofing project at North Cumberland Elementary in 2017.

“This was considerably higher,” he said. 

Eskola LLC of Morristown, TN, submitted the only bid on the project, with a base bid of $916,300, an additional $242,500 to reroof F wing and another $73,800 for fascia boards and soffits. The school system budgeted $650,000 for the project.

“We went back and talked with the low bidder and asked what was driving the cost on this,” Chamberlin told the board.

Chamberlin said the project specifications called for removing the existing foam roof and taking the roof down to the substrate roofing system before putting on a new rubber membrane roof.

Upland Design contacted manufacturer Firestone for suggestions on how to proceed. The company has had great success with a roofing method that leaves the existing foam roof and installs the new roof over it. 

Contractors would use a machine to level the foam by removing a small amount of foam. Then a recovery board is installed and secured to the building and the new roof installed over that.

“This keeps more insulation value,” Chamberlin said. “It’s a win-win. I wish I’d known about this before, but it’s fairly new.”

The new roof would have the same 20-year warranty. The work can be done while school is in session.

Chamberlin said he believes the project would attract more interest from roofing contractors.

The building and grounds committee had recommended rejecting the earlier bid and moving forward with the revised project. Inman presented the motion to the board, which did not require a second since it was a committee recommendation. 

The board unanimously approved the proposed roofing project. 

Chamberlin also reported work is continuing at Crab Orchard Elementary. Recent dry weather has allowed the contractor to work on some exterior projects while also continuing the interior construction. 

“They’re trying very, very hard to hit August for completion, which would be early. I don’t think they’ll make that. By contract, they have until September. I think they’ll hit that,” he said.

About $250,000 in contingency funds remain for that project. The board is considering repaving the school access road once work is complete, as it is in need of repair, and replacing the roof on the 2001 portion of the existing building.

Another possible project is to move forward with adding graphics to the floor of the new gymnasium.

Chamberlin said, “We want to go ahead and try to do that through the wood installer. It’s becoming harder and harder to get people to work on existing floors. Warranties and things like that get into the mix.”

The cost to add graphics would be about $5,000.

Rob Safdie, 1st District representative, asked if Chamberlin felt the project was “essential.” Chamberlin said it would be similar to other school gyms, featuring the school mascot. 

Safdie asked if unused contingency funds revert to the school system.

“There’s no chance of taking $11,000 of that contingency fund to buy books for the libraries without first asking the county?” Safdie asked.

Chamberlin said funds were allocated to the building project. 

Contingency funds for the project would revert to the county’s accounts. The project initially came in over budget, with the school system and county adding funds from their fund balance reserves. The county stipulated their funds would be the last funds used on the projects.

The matter was not on the May 30 agenda, but the board took up the item at its special-called meeting June 4, where it was unanimously approved.

Work is wrapping up at the CCHS stadium. The asphalt base for the track had been put down, with the binder and rubber layers set to be complete soon. 

The stadium renovation is the final portion of a $3.267 million renovation program at CCHS, with restrooms inside the school and replacement of the drainage system under the football field.

“And we have funds left from the earlier projects at CCHS,” Chamberlin said. 

In other action, the board approved a contract with Upland Design Group for architectural services for planned renovations at Martin Elementary. The motion passed with Teresa Boston, 8th District representative, voting no. She said her concern was with the contract, not the project. The contract is an American Institute of Architects contract.

Heather Mullinix is editor of the Crossville Chronicle. She covers schools and education in Cumberland County. She may be reached at