Nick McWilliams reporting – With the Intermediate Building needing extensive repair work, the Claymont City School District is looking for ways to approach the issue.

Superintendent Brian Rentsch told the board of education recently it was determined that water that had been identified inside the building following summer storms was from aging windows, which has caused damage.

Rentsch says that in addition to addressing the water issues with the windows, the district must also address a deteriorating roof.

“The I-beams over every window across the front of the building need to be replaced. If you look up, you’ll see that the building is tilting in towards the top. The good thing is, we’ve already approved fixing the roof. What happens is, the asphalt on the roof contracts, and it pulls [the wall.] We’ve approved a whole roof replacement for $400,000-plus.”

The applicable brickwork to repair the damage caused by the retracting roof, along with the replacement of the I-beams, is estimated at $340,000.

Operations Director Beth Lint says that the process will be in-depth to get the building back into acceptable shape, and will start sometime in May.

“They pull the roof back across the front, shore up the building in those areas, take the walls down to the top at the third-floor windows. They’ll bring the cranes in to set the beams, rebuild that back up, and then re-secure the roof.”

The securing of the building will take an estimated 60 workdays, with the whole project including bricklaying and mortar work wrapped up in 90 days, according to Lint.

The bricklaying portion can be completed while school is session, but the shoring up of the building could lead to an adjustment in the school year, and outside of site preparations cannot start until students are out of the building.

Additionally, the center staircase that leads to the front doors of the school are in rough shape as well, and could be either replaced or removed, depending on the cost to the district.

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