Construction Work Ongoing at Bangor High

Construction workers are building a new roof for the school building. 

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Seen from above, the roof work includes a greater pitch to help with rain runoff.

Lenny Ali Ihsan, Reporter

BANGOR—A construction company has been working on building a new structure over the 210,000-square-foot roof to alleviate snow load weight.

For the past few weeks, there has been loud noises above the wings where history, math, and business classes are located. Many construction workers and their building equipment have been busy hoisting metal beams and other materials onto the roof. The project aims to build an additional roof above the existing one, creating a pitched roof.

This is needed because it helps reduce the snow load that is on top of the building. Weight and leaks are the primary reasons for this work.

“We will have a metal, pitched roof that will cause accumulated snow to fall down to the sides of the building, which will not only reduce the weight but also avoid melted snow causing damage to the flat, rubber roof—while avoiding the future expense and disruption of replacing that rubber membrane periodically,” says Principal Butler. “Engineering standards have changed since BHS was built [in the 1960s], older buildings with flat roofs have also done renovations like this to make them last longer.”

The roof project has been planned for many years beforehand, and money has been saved up for this project through federal funding. Finally, the project has begun, but a little earlier than planned.

“The construction started sooner than we expected because the steel beams arrived sooner, and the construction company was available to begin working as well,” Mr. Butler added.

Because of the pandemic, getting in touch with a construction company has been difficult. Fortunately, the availability of a construction crew lined up with the early shipment of steel beams, so they were able to get started right away. This also means that the project may finish quicker, estimated to six months earlier.

As we all know, the sound has been terribly loud. Mr. Butler has tried to decrease disruption of academic learning by alerting teachers beforehand, and they locate elsewhere to either a different classroom or the library. But sometimes, it can still be heard.

Some classrooms’ roofs even leaked.

Mr. Bachtel, an English teacher located in the business wing, has had to deal with a leaky roof and the noise.

“For a few days it was loud and certainly impeded concentration and hearing. So for three days, we moved to another location for my classes,” he said. “Students have also expressed being bothered by the noise, but we all adapted.”

Co-head Guidance Counselor Mrs. Ayer has also been impacted by the work. The construction workers have been working directly over and outside in the courtyard from her office.

She observed: “The work was happening directly above my office. There have been times when it’s been extremely loud, making it a little difficult to focus on work. It was especially difficult during a Zoom meeting. It was hard to hear participants at times.”