Rockingham discusses roof upgrades

BF Opera House. Photo by Joel Slutsky.

ROCKINGHAM, Vt. – On Tuesday, Jan. 17, the Rockingham Selectboard discussed the roof truss reinforcement bids for the town hall roof upgrades.

The project is part of a Phase III plan including reinforcements for weight loads associated with upgrades to the theatre lighting, a new roof, as well as plans for a possible solar array. Municipal Manager Scott Pickup said this reinforcement provided structural integrity on the roof.

Pickup said there were three bids received for the truss reinforcements. He explained each company was given a score based upon scope, cost, schedule, Vermont welding certification, safety and compliance training, and references. He said the town’s primary issue was safety and compliance, “it’s a difficult place to work, we wanted to make sure they were qualified and made us feel confident.”

Pickup recommended the proposal from The Parker Group of Claremont, N.H. who “met the highest levels of compliance,” and had the highest score for selection criteria.

On the motion, Pickup explained there were two costs with a suggested alternate offering initial work of two more truss welds. Pickup said this was part of the larger reinforcement on the roof, and by having The Parker Group do all trusses, there were cost savings for mobilization and setup. He said if the board was agreeable to the motion, they recommended the primary and alternate proposals for all four trusses to be reinforced to the engineers specifications.

Pickup said currently the roof can’t handle any additional weight loads. There were recommendations from a study to replace the membranes, but the roof has only been done in sections.

Golec asked what “was the deal with the scuppers, where the roof drains are seems to be some of the problem.”

Pickup said there would be future decisions from the board; the design of the new roof, what type of membrane specified, and a redesign of the roof drainage system, the current one frequently backs up.

Golec said that causes the leaks. He suggested, “we need to figure out how to keep them open.”

Pickup said, they send people to clean the drains consistently in the fall.

Board member Rick Cowan asked if the gutters could be upgraded.

Board member Elijah Zimmer said it was “a single intake drainage system and did not take much” to get plugged.

Resident Jamie Berrick asked what type of pre-maintenance was taken and if the town performed monthly preventative maintenance to clear debris or if it was only when the roof was leaking. Pickup said they went up seasonally, on average every two-three months, but there is no maintenance person for the building. Berrick suggested they check the drains monthly for leaves and debris to prevent issues until a permanent solution can be found.

Cowan made the motion to approve The Parker Group as the welding contractor for the opera house truss reinforcements per recommendation of the manager to include the alternate, with a contract not to exceed $49,400.

The Rockingham Selectboard meetings are the first and third Tuesdays at 6 p.m. in the Lower Theatre of the Bellows Falls Opera House, Zoom link available at

Town meeting is Monday, March 6 with balloting on Tuesday, March 7.


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