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New roof for Waynesville middle

Waynesville Middle School is set to get a new roof, following a vote by Haywood County Commissioners to approve a project that the Haywood County School Board OK’d Sept. 8. The project will finish off a campaign against leaky roofs that Tracy Hartgrove, the school system’s maintenance director, has been championing since he arrived eight years ago. 


“This is probably the last one that is in really bad shape. We’ve put a lot of effort into it for the last eight years,” Hartgrove told commissioners about the roof replacement effort. “Every time it rains I’m not dreading to answer my phone because we don’t get those calls like we used to.”

Eight years ago, Hartgrove’s department came up with a prioritized list of all the roofs that needed replacing. Waynesville Middle was the last on that list, a list that included all schools in Haywood County save Hazelwood, Clyde and Central elementary schools. Those schools have metal roofs that are still in good shape. 

The school system just finished up Jonathan Valley Elementary, a project whose $200,000 bill came from lottery funds.

Seeing that Haywood County Schools oversees 1.63 million square feet of roof, there was plenty of inventory to consider. 

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“We look forward to the next few years to see the spending on roofing coming down,” Commission Chairman Mark Swanger said. “Eight years ago it seemed overwhelming because it was so big, so many dollars.”

The county will pay for 25 percent of the $175,000 project, with the remaining 75 percent coming from state funding that Haywood schools has saved up since that particular funding stream was cut off several years ago. 

“It’s been very tight as far as funding for building projects,” Hartgrove said. “We’ve had to squeeze and be creative and get as much as we can out of what we’ve got.”

Hartgrove expects to have contracts for the work signed by Nov. 6 and to see construction start by Nov. 10. The project should be finished by the end of the year.  

“We’re at a point right now that the one at Waynesville Middle School is the last big roof,” Hartgrove said. “We’ve still got some smaller issues coming up and we always will have, but out of that original plan, that was the last one we’d identified as needing a replacement.”

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