Elementary roof bid gets school board approval

School district to ask contractor if longer-lasting material can be used
By: 
Lee Pulaski
City Editor

The Wittenberg-Birnamwood School Board hired Maurer Roofing on May 20 to replace the roof at Wittenberg Elementary-Middle School this summer, but the actual cost is still up for debate.

Maurer had the lowest bid out of three companies that vied for the project, wanting $79,720, with a roof product that would be guaranteed for 25 years. However, the other two companies offered a product that would last 10-15 years longer, but their bids were twice the price Maurer wants, according to Superintendent Garrett Rogowski.

The roof replacement project had originally been scheduled for summer 2025, but Rogowski said the leaks at the school are getting worse, necessitating the change in the timetable.

“Maurer’s has worked a lot with the district since I’ve been here, and they’ve been very good to us,” Rogowski said. “We’ve been getting some significant leaking and tearing, particularly in the rooms that are along Prouty Street. We’d like to expedite this and proceed with this sooner rather than later.”

Crafts Inc. from Manitowoc offered $175,000 for its work, with an alternative of $34,000 if the Wittenberg-Birnamwood School District chose to only repair the roof instead of completely replacing it. The third company submitting a bid, Security Luebke from Appleton, was asking $148,000 to replace the roof.

Rogowski noted that what caught his attention about Security Luebke’s bid is the material to be used for the roof. The material, called FiberTite, could make the Wittenberg school’s roof last 35-40 years, he said.

“I don’t think it’s worth the increase,” Rogowski said. “The other stuff has a lifespan of 20-25 years, with possible maintenance at year 15.”

Rogowski recommended approving Maurer’s bid but going back to the company to see if it would use a material that lasts longer. If the company can provide a longer-lasting roof that would cost more, the bid would need to be revisited by the school board.

Board president Chuck Wendler seemed receptive to using FiberTite on the roof, although he preferred sticking with Maurer, based in Marshfield, as the contractor.

“We’d be getting an additional 10 years for about twice the price,” Wendler said.
Rogowski noted that Maurer is planning to heavily insulate the middle of the roof to prevent the pooling of water, which would add some life to the roof.

“I still feel comfortable with Maurer’s and the work they’ve done for us,” Rogowski said. “We’re replacing interior ceiling tile pretty regularly during this rainy season.”

Board member Rich Olson said he had no qualms about moving the work up one year.

“We had this somewhat earmarked, and we knew it was coming. So it makes sense moving it up,” Olson said.

lpulaski@newmedia-wi.com