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Valley Junior-Senior High School roof nears completion

| Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, 12:40 a.m.
Eric Felack | Trib Total Media
Smoke rises as tar is heated to seal the new roof at Valley Junior-Senior High School in New Kensington on Friday, Aug. 15, 2014.
DAN SPEICHER | For TRIB TOTAL MEDIA
Members of Tuscano-Maher Roofing of Saltsburg work on a section of the Valley Junior-Senior High School roof in New Kensington on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014.
DAN SPEICHER | For TRIB TOTAL MEDIA
Members of Tuscano-Maher Roofing of Saltsburg work on a section of the Valley Junior-Senior High School roof in New Kensington on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014.

Valley Junior-Senior High officials say the school's roof replacement project won't be completed before classes start, but the year will begin on schedule.

“I think we can expect to have some noise, but I don't think there's any concern that we will need to delay the start of school,” said Jon Banko, assistant to the superintendent and the school's acting principal.

The school year is to begin Aug. 27. The project to replace 90 percent of the roof began in late July and should be finished in early September.

“They've been working for a couple weeks now, and it's moving along,” he said. “I look out my window, and I see them all the time.”

Facilities director Mike Orr said the project will cost the district $1.2 million. The money comes from a capital improvement fund.

The work was prompted by numerous leaks last winter that caused the ninth-grade wing to close.

“We had some water damage this past winter between the weight of the snow and the membrane,” Orr said.

The membrane, which is made of tar, will be completed before school starts.

“There's a process to it, and one of the things is the smell of the tar,” Banko said. “That's going to be done before the kids come back, from what I'm being told.”

The roof is made of several layers including insulation, tar and gravel.

Orr said the roof is about 28 years old. “It's at the end of its life expectancy,” he said.

Tuscano-Maher Roofing and Phoenix Roofing are working on the project to complete it as quickly as possible.

Orr said the work is about 40 percent complete and running on schedule.

He said the new roof has a 25-year warranty but hopes it lasts longer.

Orr said the project's completion is dependent on the weather, which he said hasn't been much of a problem.

Emily Balser is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-7710 or ebalser@tribweb.com.

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