- Your News
By MARIAN GALBRAITH
The Tullahoma School Board and Board of Mayor and Aldermen held a special work session Monday to discuss, among many topics, how to finance a new roof at Tullahoma High School.
“The current rubber membrane roof covering everything except the gym and the Garrison wing is 17 years old,” school board director Dr. Dan Lawson said, “and it has expanded and contracted until it’s leaking.”
Lawson said that while replacing the existing flat roof with a built-up version of the same thing would cost at least $1 million, another option would be to retrofit a pitched metal roof over the existing roof system to possibly extend its life.
Schematic drawings provided by Oliver-Rhoads Associates showed three possible roofing scenarios, including two options for a pitched metal roof.
While the pitched roof would change the appearance of the building and would cost $2.4 to $2.6 million, Lawson said he provided it as a possible alternative, despite the fact that it would not necessarily extend the guaranteed life of the roof beyond 20 years.
City debt service
expected to increase
As the city faces the prospect of how to finance the replacement of the THS roof, officials also heard from finance director Sue Wilson and City Administrator Jodi Baltz as they showed the city’s debt service schedules, which “spike” dramatically from $3.5 million in 2012 to $4 million in 2013; and again in 2018 to $4.7 million.
Wilson said that second-half sales tax lawsuit settlement funds from the county will partially cover next year’s increase of $500,000, but no lawsuit funds would be available to cover the 2018 spike.
Mayor Lane Curlee said that despite the recent growth in sales tax revenues, there would not be enough to cover the increases in debt service payments, to which Alderman Jimmy Blanks stressed the continuing importance of shopping locally.
“If you have to drive to Murfreesboro to get it, you don’t need it,” Blanks said.
Baltz and Wilson discussed the possibility of refinancing any callable bonds in order to flatten out the “spikes” in 2013 and 2018 by spreading the payments out into future years, where scheduled payments are substantially lower anyway.
Lawson added that while neighboring high schools may be newer than THS, the schools they replaced are not more than a few years older than the core of THS.
“The core of this high school was built in the ‘50’s,” Lawson said, “and we can’t afford to replace the whole building, so we need to keep it dry.”