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New roof for Metro Center closer to reality

Board decides on a plan for proceeding with roof replacement

PRINCETON — Princeton Park District board members are on track to fulfill their hopes to have a new roof on the Bureau County Metro Center by the end of this summer, and their fiscal planning has paid off in a number of ways.

First, Jeff Purdy, the engineer who originally designed the Bureau County Metro Center’s roof about 30 years ago, has returned to assist the board with technical assistance, planning, bidding, and to work with the chosen contractor.

Purdy, owner of Design Alliance, previously presented the board with information regarding the different types, methods of application, and costs of the many roofing options available.

He also retained the original roofing plans, and by having those readily available for this new project, he has reduced his charges accordingly.

“It’s just good business and it’s the right thing to do because it’s saved a lot of time to already have the plans in place,” he told the board during Monday’s meeting.

Elaine Russell, executive director of the Princeton Park District, reported the district was in good shape to proceed with the nearly 31,000-square-foot roof replacement project and that she was hopeful it would be completed this summer. Russell has been planning in anticipation of an expected cost of between $575,000 to $600,000.

Purdy’s expectations for the project came in substantially lower, with a rough overall estimate of $400,000.

“We are very comfortable in that we have the ability to choose what’s best for us,” Russell said.

Current roof

Currently, the Metro Center has a ballasted EDPM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) roof. This is basically a rubber roof with a coating of rocks on top of it. Purdy recommended this be replaced with an adhered EDPM roof. Rather than the ballasting holding the roof in place, it would be an adhesive.

Mike Anderson, Metro Center maintenance coordinator, said the lack of ballast would make inspections easier, and that he’s also found the sharp edges of the rocks are what often seems to cause damage to the rubber beneath. He was in agreement with a non-ballasted roof. In addition, walking paths would be designated on the new roof to reduce the potential for unintended damage to the new membrane.

The board’s material choices essentially came down to a black EDPM roof for about $347,000, or a significantly more expensive PVC material, which is white. However, Purdy put forth a third option for the board, which was the one they eventually chose. The third consideration was for a white EDPM roof at an additional cost of about $30,000. This increase made the total closer to what a PVC roof would cost. Warranty costs will be discussed once a contractor is chosen.

Unanimous support

The board was in unanimous support of this choice and for a white roof. Anderson said one of the recommendations included in the results of the Metro Center’s recent energy audit by the University of Illinois was the installation of a white roof.

One concern about the change from a ballasted roof to a non-ballasted roof could be the effects the weight reduction could have on the building, although Purdy said he wasn’t too concerned because the most likely areas to be affected were over large, well-supported expanses such as the gym and pool.

Purdy said the project would take six to eight weeks to complete and added the job should be appealing to contractors because of both the size of it and that the building’s layout would allow the job to be done in stages.

He also said there should be minimal disruption in the Metro Center’s day-to-day operations.

In other news:

• Superintendent of Parks Keith Scherer reported he had sent a thank-you letter to Taylor’s Turf for its donation of the emerald ash borer treatments they gave to all of the ash trees in the parks.

• The district is proceeding with its efforts to acquire a backup generator since the Metro Center is a designated community center during emergencies.

• Administrative Assistant Tammy Lange reported the Metro Center has reached the milestone of 2,000 memberships and that they were up 119 from last year.

• Because of security concerns, Lange also wished to remind members to check in at the front desk upon arrival, and she also requested patience as member information is either updated or confirmed by staff.

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