School board declares emergency, approves $487K to fix failing metal roof deck at Carmel High School


The Carmel Clay Schools board of trustees on June 12 declared an emergency and approved a bid of $289,000 to fix a failing metal roof deck at Carmel High School. 

A CHS maintenance technician recently discovered the problem when a “significant-sized” piece of the roof deck fell while the technician was in the boiler room, according to information included in the online school board agenda. An inspection showed that the roof deck had rusted and broken free to expose the underside of the pink insulation board. Anyone walking on the roof above the area would only be supported by 3 inches of rigid insulation and the roofing membrane. 

“If somebody were on the roof, if they stepped in this area, they could literally fall through,” CCS Associate Supt. Roger McMichael said, describing it as a “very hazardous situation.” 

Because of the safety concerns – and expensive boiler equipment under it that could fail if exposed to water infiltration – the board declared the situation an emergency, which allows the district to approve a contract for the project without advertising for bids as long as it receives at least two quotes for the work. 

CCS received quotes from three companies, ranging from $289,000 to $479,700. The board awarded the project to AAA Roofing, which submitted the lowest bid. The bid does not include decking and fireproofing, which are expected to add more than $160,000 to the project cost. CCS has budgeted approximately $487,000 for the work, which will be funded through bonds for projects at CHS. McMichael said he believes the project can be completed under budget and that he expects work to begin soon. 

McMichael said the failure is not believed to be related to a 2018 explosion in a boiler room at CHS. He said the exact cause of the metal roof deck failure has not been determined. 

School board member Greg Brown asked CCS officials to provide additional information when available to the board on the failure, which he described as “shocking.” 

“I just worry it’s not just this one area, that it could be in some other places, and we have a real calamity where people’s lives are at risk,” he said. 

McMichael said professionals who have inspected the roof believe the failure is not widespread. 


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