St. Mary’s Academy Needs New Roof
by Bea Peterson
More than 70 inches of snow has fallen in the area this winter. Seventy inches of snow that was routinely cleared off the flat roofs of St. Mary’s Academy. “Maintenance Supervisor Jerry McAuliffe organized groups of volunteers to shovel the roof,” said Principal Maureen Daurio, “sometimes Jerry was up there day and night.” The volunteers who spent hours lightening the roof load week after cold winter week included Immaculate Conception Church Pastor Tom Zelker. The roof over the gym was replaced seven years ago and is holding up well.
The same cannot be said for the roof over the classrooms and reception area.
“That roof has been a periodic issue,” said Daurio. This year leaks began in mid-January and kept expanding. During that time teachers and administrators came into the building to find ceiling tiles on the floor, books soaked and leaks everywhere. Linda McGuire’s third grade classroom had to be rearranged and, at one point, had 10 to 15 containers for collecting water. “We would listen to the plink plink throughout the day,” she said. Fortunately the leaks have subsided, though not before almost every room was affected.
The School Is Safe
Daurio emphasized that the building has been checked by Albany Catholic Diocese engineers and there are absolutely no health issues with the building. Four large dehumidifiers are working in the hallway and a few smaller commercial ones are at work in some of the classrooms. She said, because of the dehumidifiers, they expect no future health issues either.
The school was built in 1959. Undoubtedly the main roof has been repaired during those years, but no one believes it was ever replaced.
The most recent quote SMA had to replace the roof was a few years back. That quote was $150,000. “The roof has been looked at, and we are waiting for a proposal from the architectural firm of Peterson Engineering, from Clifton Park to put a package out for bid,” said Daurio. “There are a lot of variables, including the possibility of doing some of the work ourselves.” The Principal said they are actively seeking grant funding from several different sources.
“Insurance,” she said, “will cover the cost of the inside repairs but will not cover the roof.” St. Mary’s Academy already holds a number of fund-raisers to keep the vibrant school going for its 148 students.
Fr. Zelker kicked off the roof funding drive two weeks ago from the pulpit by contributing the first $1,000. He said if 100 people contributed $1,000 each, the roof would be paid for. He will thankfully accept donations of any size, however. To date $22,000 has been collected.
Activities As Usual
In spite of the missing ceiling tiles, rearranged classrooms and dehumidifiers in the hallway, the school is functioning as normal.
This Sunday afternoon, March 27, from 3 to 6, SMA is hosting the HACA Food Pantry fund-raiser “A Taste of Hoosick.” Next Saturday, April 2, SMA will hold its Annual Spring Auction. Doors open at 6:15 pm. The auction starts at 7. The following Saturday, April 9, the school will hold an Open House. Daurio knows the dehumidifiers will be gone and the school will look its very best for the event.
And when the new school year starts in September, St. Mary’s will have a new roof and the classrooms will have new ceilings. “I’ve been told having everything completed by September is not unrealistic,” concluded Daurio.