City Hall roof repairs could wrap up by weekend

City Hall could have a new roof by the end of the week, Mayor Paul Choate said.

Work got underway last week to replace the leaky roof of the municipal with Little Rock contractor Shields & Associates.

Choate said work that has been done so far passed its first test over the rainy weekend.

The roof of City Hall had been leaking for some time and the problem grew progressively worse after years of patching.

Last year, ceiling tiles caved in in the second-floor conference room on the south side of the building and interior sheet rock was damaged due to ongoing water infiltration.

The roof also leaked on the north end of the second floor, which is occupied by the El Dorado Fire Department's administrative offices, and the landing at the top of stairs leading up to the second floor.

The damage and condition of the roof were subsequently inspected and Choate reached out to the Arkansas Municipal League, through whom the city holds property insurance on City Hall and other municipal properties.

"So, I filed a claim and they sent an adjuster and they determined there was enough damage to require a roof replacement," Choate said, adding that it had been approximately 20 years since the roof was last replaced.

Local architect Michael Rogers, of Michael Rogers Designs, LLC, is working on the project, which is estimated at $180,000, and Shields & Associates won the bid for the job.

The city is kicking in $28,000 from its capital outlay budget.

The $28,000 includes a $10,000 insurance deductible and approximately $18,000 to upgrade a slope on the roof -- work that will allow water to drain off the roof faster, said Choate.

He said the insurance policy will not cover the work on the slope.

The work entails water-proofing the brick work, new metal flashing that covers the top of the roof and installing a new membrane roof, Robert Edmonds, director of public works, previously explained.

Added Choate, "They'll have to tear off the roof and replace it by doing it in sections."

Shields & Associates staged construction materials and equipment outside City Hall on Jan. 29, taking up the north parking lot and a few adjacent parking spaces in the rear parking lot, and immediately went to work.

The progress is already noticeable, said Choate.

Rain and thunder showers lasted throughout the day Saturday and part of the day on Sunday in El Dorado.

"There were no reported leaks in City Hall this weekend," Choate said Monday.

The bid contract for the roof replacement has a 45-day work schedule, with an anticipated completion date of March 15.

However, Choate said the job could wrap up by the end of the week or early next week.

"The contractor said he needed 10 to 12 days of dry weather," he said. "I'm just trying to take care of the city's property, the people's property."

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