How To Respond When School-Roof Damage Comes Knocking

Posted on: 26 January 2015

When the school building needs roof repair from a company like Architectural Exterior Design, it's not always an easy fix. Wear and tear on the rooftop from extreme rain, hail or winds could throw budgets and maintenance schedules into flux. A roof fix can costs tens of thousands of dollars, and a replacement roof could run more than $1 million. Those are funds not easily raised in a bake sale.

Nonetheless, ignoring a faulty roof could lead to worse problems, such as dangerous mildew, floor damage and an unstable dwelling for students and faculty. As someone on the school board, you must help find a solution to the local school's construction needs without breaking the budget. Here are a few ideas to help.   

Take on Debt

Considering issuing bonds to raise money for the roof. You will raise the cash from lenders who purchase the bonds and are then repaid over a specified period of time with interest. Most school-issued bonds have the backing of the district in which they're located. The interest rate your school pays on the bond will be commensurate with the district's credit history.

Expect to obtain voter approval for the bond issuance tied to the roof construction. Residents may see an increase in their tax bill to foot the bill for the debt repayment.

In states like California, for instance, school bonds for construction have over the years been approved more than 80 percent of the time. To avoid adding too much debt to the district's balance sheet, consider issuing bonds for a percentage of the roof-repair costs and digging into the budget for the balance.  

Use Grant Funds

Petition the state education department for grant funds to cover the cost of the roof construction. Your state's education department is likely to have programs that are designed to distribute grant money to public school districts for major repairs, including a roof fix or replacement. If your district meets the criteria and is approved for a state grant, you could have most or all of the roof bill paid.  

Check the Warranty

It's possible that a leaky roof or other damage could be covered under a long-term warranty. If the terms of the warranty are unclear, contact the construction company that built the school or that replaced the roof last to learn whether they are willing to make the repairs under warranty. 

You may need to bring on a third party to evaluate the roof damage in comparison to the warranty, but the costs of doing so could mean the difference between having the roof-repair costs covered or having to dip into the budget.


Your school district will be applauded for putting a priority on safety so that students and faculty alike can focus on learning without distraction.