Work on Guggenheim school roof begins

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Work on the roof at the Guggenheim Elementary School began last Tuesday after many parents were angered because the old one was leaking throughout the school year.

The project includes replacing two sections of the roof, as well as repairing two sections with an overlay rubber membrane.

It will take a month to complete and cost $778,000.

BBR Contracting is installing the new roof sections and More Consulting Corp. is installing the rubber membrane.

Funds for the new roof are included in the 2017-18 budget and the project was approved by the state Department of Education.

Rain and wind storms damaged the roof and it began leaking in the winter, most notably in the “green” and “yellow” wings of the building, district officials said.

The district attempted to repair the leaks over February break, but the repairs were unsuccessful.

Students in certain classrooms were then relocated to another section of the building, but class was not interrupted, officials said.

In March, the district hired an environmental consulting firm to conduct a moisture assessment to check if mold was growing in areas affected by the leak. No mold was found, according to the report.

In April, a representative from the state Department of Education inspected the building and found it was safe for students and confirmed the previous tests, according to a report.

After spring break, the district conducted an asbestos abatement test in the elbows of pipes in the affected hallways and found no asbestos, officials said.

The school board also swore in Dave Kerpen and Rachel Gilliar at Wednesday’s meeting, both of whom were elected in May.

Gilliar received 1,998 votes and Kerpen received 1,750 votes to replace outgoing school board members Alan Baer and Christina Nadolne.

Kerpen said he is excited to increase communication and transparency between the board and the school community.

He taught math in New York City for three years and is the CEO and co-founder of Likeable Media, a social media marketing company.

“Looking back, I’m super grateful to this town for electing me, and I’m grateful to be a part of it,” Kerpen said. “Now, I can’t wait to give back to Port Washington and its families.”

Kerpen said he plans to use his technology, communications and social media background to help the board.

“I also plan on using my entrepreneurial expertise and passion to find creative solutions to our funding crisis,” Kerpen said.

Gilliar, a lawyer, said she believes the message she was preaching during the campaign resonated with voters.

She said she wants the district to look at programs and “reaffirm what we want from school and see how we can make that happen.”

“I think this is a victory for excellence in education,” she said.

The school board also reappointed Karen Sloan as president and Nora Johnson as vice president.

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