Chattanooga's Central High School gets new roof - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Chattanooga's Central High School gets new roof

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HARRISON, TN (WRCB-TV) -- "You could hear a roar of claps across the building," says Central High School principal Finley King.

To him, word of a brand new roof is music to his ears. The current roof has taken a beating from mother nature over the past two decades. Major leaks from heavy rains earlier this week sealed the deal after the school board chairman saw the damage up close.

"He and I walked around the building and took a look at the needs and I think he understood the validity of that request," says King.

Students and staff get to say goodbye to the cracked canopy. It'll be rebuilt practically from scratch. The Hamilton County Board of Education unanimously voted to spend about $370,000  from its general budget and another $360,000 from insurance.

"It will be a full tear-out," explains King. "They'll go all the way down to the metal, then with insulation."

This will be followed by installation of a sturdier roofing material called TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) which can better handle downpours and hail which have become more common around the area.

"The roof that we'll be getting will be, I think, much more resilient to that type of weather," says King.

King says it's the same material being used on the roof at the new Red Bank Middle School, making the roofs safer and hopefully age better, too.

But TPO is also a bit "green". The material is a lighter color that reflects heat, saving Central High on energy costs. It's not a complete "extensive green roof" like the one at Outdoor Chattanooga, but King says going full-on environmental wasn't an option based on immediate needs. He doesn't have to time spend waiting on bids.

"I didn't want to go through anything that was going to extend that time period. I want the work to get started today," states King.

Work on the new roof is expected to start in about two weeks, and the health department will be consulted beforehand regarding air quality issues. King says the roof should be completed by the end of 2012. While construction takes place classes will have to be combined, but canceling classes is not in the plan.

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