Donations pay for school roof repairs

By Maureen Robertson

Donations from three sources are plugging leaks at Ramona schools.

Jim Brown of Brown Roofing & Construction looks at what he calls “the Pepsi ceiling.” Sentinel photo/Maureen Robertson

Roofers completed some repairs earlier this year, and other work started after the recent storm that dumped 3.55 to 5 inches of rain, with varying amounts recorded in different sections of town.

“That was a heck of a storm,” said Ed Anderson, maintenance and grounds supervisor for Ramona Unified School District, noting that the rain found numerous places to leak, primarily at Ramona High.

Before the storm, Ramona resident Mitch Roe of Roejack Roofing donated the lion’s share to roof repairs — about a $26,000 ­value in materials and labor — said Anderson. The school district matched his donation with $2,876 toward the estimated $12,000 to $13,000 value to reroof Room 17 at Ramona Elementary, added Anderson.

Additional work by Roejack included other repairs at Ramona Elementary, valued at $6,900; Olive Peirce Middle School, $3,200; Ramona High, $3,100; Barnett Elementary, $1,300; and James Dukes Elementary, $990.

Responding to reports of numerous leaks at Ramona High from the recent downpour, roofer Jim Brown and his crew from Brown Roofing and Construction arrived last Wednesday morning and got to work.

They found 10 leaks in the I Building. Most of the estimated 40 leaks on the campus are on the I Building and gymnasium, commented Brown, who had dirt that reached about 18 inches up his right arm. That was the arm

With dirt visible on his right arm, Jim Brown holds the empty Diet Pepsi that was clogging a drain pipe at Ramona High School. Sentinel photo/Maureen Robertson

he used to pull dirt and other debris from one drain.

“I started pulling out trash, all sorts of debris, there was lots of leaves and dirt, and then I felt something,” he said.

It was an empty Diet Pepsi can.

“That Diet Pepsi can had clogged the drain,” said Brown.

Once he removed the can and cleared the rest of the drain, “it’s free flow,” he said.

Brown, who started in the roofing business in 1979, specializes in fixing leaking roofs. Brown Roofing & Construction, headquartered in Encinitas, became known to Friends of Ramona Unified Schools (FORUS) through one of the volunteer group’s members, Dave Patterson.

“We’re trying to do the best we can with what you’ve got,” he said to a FORUS member, estimating the work and materials would cost from $7,000 to $10,000. “This is the first step in getting rid of water, stopping the leaks caused by water issues.”

He spent time at no cost earlier in the school year, checking roofs at Ramona schools with Anderson to determine what problems needed solving.

Ceiling tiles in a Ramona High classroom sag with water weight. Sentinel photo/Maureen Robertson

“Our specific skill is to spot leaks and fix them so you don’t have to do the entire roof — and that’s not easy,” he said, noting, “You’ve got to think like a raindrop … We think it’s money well spent.”

The spot roof repairs and maintenance could save the district several million dollars, said Brown.

“This will buy you time and save a lot of wear and tear,” he said, standing outside one I Building room that had visible ceiling damage from leaks.

Stepping inside the classroom, Brown noted one ceiling tile break, referring to it as the “Pepsi ceiling.” The teacher in the classroom full of students pointed to evidence of mold on one wall.

By 10 a.m., Brown and crew had filled six construction bags with debris.

“It could have blown through in the last storm,” he said.

Saul Sanchez of Brown Roofing carries a pail of roofing sealer to the I Building roof at Ramona High School. Sentinel photo/Maureen Robertson

His firm, now owned by son Andy Brown, is licensed and insured, said Brown, commenting,” I find leaks and fix them. That’s my career.”

FORUS money to pay Brown Roofing comes from donations from the community. Donations so far total nearly $10,000, with plans for a fundraiser at ChuckAlek Independent Brewers on Saturday and a fundraiser at Ramona United Methodist Church in June.

FORUS donation canisters are in numerous businesses in town, and donations also may be mailed to Dave Patterson, Roof Project chairman, at 1003 Sixth St., Ramona, CA 92065, with checks payable to FORUS Roof Project.

Also contributing to school roofs was Weatherproofing Technology, a subsidiary of Trimco, said Anderson. That firm donated $5,000 to $6,000 of repairs to the Ramona High School locker room roof and the roof over the middle school kitchen, he said.

A Ramona High teacher points to indication of mold in a classroom that she said has been covered but still shows. Sentinel photo/Maureen Robertson

After talking to a reporter, roofer Jim Brown gets back to work. Sentinel photo/Maureen Robertson

Related posts:

  1. Students turn to Realtors for school roof donations
  2. ChuckAlek employee helping school roof project Friday night
  3. Halloween treat goes to Friends of Ramona Unified Schools for Roof Project
  4. Volunteers raise $4,232 for school roof project
  5. FORUS completes Soap Project, kicks off school roof campaign

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Posted by Maureen Robertson on Mar 12 2014. Filed under Archive, Featured Story, News, Schools. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Comments for “Donations pay for school roof repairs”

  1. samma

    Community should be like this where it will step up to help each other. I am proud of the community.

  2. Jane Tanaka MD

    As a Ramonan, am so proud of RoeJack Roofing , Weatherproof Techology, FORUS members, ChuckAlex Brewery and all the local donors making sacrifices for this cause, which potential effects the health and safety of our students.Being proactive will save millions of dollars in roofing replacement and other fixing other damages too. Ramona serves as a role model to the rest of SD County in this way. ROOFROOFROOF!

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