Coupeville High School declares ‘emergency’ over leaky roof

Whidbey Island’s cold, wet winter has been particularly unkind to Coupeville High School, where a leaky roof could lead to a significant unplanned expenditure.

The Coupeville School Board approved an “emergency declaration” Monday night, requesting support from the state to help fund roof repairs.

The school district first discovered leaks in December, which led to ongoing patch work repairs and an investigation into the underlying cause. Risk Management, the school district’s insurance company, is still conducting its investigation, said Superintendent Jim Shank, noting the roof is only 10-years-old.

The leaks have appeared in the pitched portion of the high school’s main building on the south side.

The problem appears to be an underlayment condensation issue, Shank said, adding the shingles appear in good shape but rot has been found underneath.

He said speculation is that there is a lack of air flow under the sheathing.

Shank said he didn’t know yet if the problem was isolated or if it would involve replacing the entire pitched portion of the high school roof. His ballpark estimate of that cost would be $250,00-$350,000.

Regardless of the extent, “we still have to fix it,” Shank said.

Barring other assistance, the school district would have to use money from its general fund to finance the repairs, Shank said.

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