In race against clock, emergency roof repairs underway at Central Fall H.S.

Photo: Steve Nielsen | WPRI 12

CENTRAL FALL, R.I. (WPRI) — Like many school districts across Rhode Island, crews are working to finish up summer construction projects underway at many Central Falls schools. But it’s the emergency roof repairs at the city’s high school that have the particular attention of school officials.

The School Building Committee held a meeting Thursdays to discuss the project, which is turning out to be more than members bargained for.

Superintendent Victor Capellan said the district was planning to patch some areas on the roof, but the problem is worse than first thought.

Steve Nielsen | WPRI 12

“It’s not until we tear off the existing roof and get full exposure of the deck that we will learn the full extent,” Capellan said. “We knew there were leaks, right, so we knew there was a problem. But, not to this extent.”

When asked how the roof repairs could affect the start of school, Capellan said, “we may start the year off with the library closed. That’s the worst case scenario at this point.”

He said some students taking summer classes have been moved to other parts of the building.

“I imagine the priority here is making sure there isn’t a roof collapse. That the building is safe,” Capellan said. “That’s why we wanted to take precautions to close some of the high school.”

Capellan said the school department hopes the roof will be replaced by the start of the school year but said there’s a chance the library will be closed through mid-September if the work isn’t finished in time.

“When you’re sitting in a classroom and it’s raining outside but it’s also raining in your classroom, that’s not a good learning environment. So that’s why we went after this. We needed to,” Capellan said.

As for the cost of the project, the school department is expected to have a better picture next week when officials learn what the project entails.