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Wrightstown taps Maryland contractor to fix historic school’s roof


Repairs are finally on the way for a historic work of architecture in Wrightstown.

The township board of supervisors voted Monday to hire contractor ALP Roofing, of Fallston, Md, to overhaul the roof at the Octagonal School, a structure built in the early 1800s that’s the only remaining octagonal-shaped school in Bucks County, according to a local history.

Supervisors awarded the $73,573 contract following a mandated public bidding process. ALP was the low bidder, with the other proposal tallying nearly twice ALP’s price. ALP comes highly recommended, said Supervisor Chairman Chester Pogonowski.

“Our engineer checked a prior reference and received an excellent review from a project manager for the National Park Services,” Pogonowski said. “ALP did a project for Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park.”

Construction will start once ALP secures the necessary cedar shake shingles from the manufacturer. It will probably be another couple months before hammers start flying, with a 10-day construction window.

“The board is optimistic that work will be completed by fall,” Pogonowski said.

That work will include: removal and disposal of existing roofing material and sheathing purlins; installation of new purlins and cedar shake roofing; repair of soffits, facia and trim; additional rafter repair and reinforcement; and installation of a rainwater diverter. A small free-standing electrical cabinet, which is surrounded by cedar shakes, also will get a facelift.

ALP is Cedar Shake Shingle Board-certified. The contractor will be providing a 5-year warranty on the work performed.

Securing a contractor was no easy task. Supervisors went through multiple rounds of bids but complications tied to everything from uncertainty over warranties to exorbitant pricing led the board to reject previous proposals.

The township plans to use funds it received from the COVID-era American Rescue Plan to help pay for a portion of the project.

“We’re also applying for a private $50,000 T-Mobile grant to cover a small portion of the project as well as a repainting project at the Wrightstown Village Library,” Pogonowski said.

Speaking of the library: On Monday, supervisors awarded Wycombe-based Curtis Painting with a $11,100 contract to paint the interior of the library community room, the associated vestibule and the front gable-covered porch. Curtis had the lowest bid and has a history of completing painting projects well for Wrightstown, officials said.

The building is old and has tested positive for lead paint, which the contractor will be collecting and removing from the site before the repainting begins.

“The township had restricted the use of the community center room until the painting and final cleanup is complete,” Pogonowski. “The contractor has been authorized to begin work as soon as it can be scheduled so the library can resume its indoor activities.”

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