Repaired roofs will greet students soon at two of the three primary schools in the Region 12 school district.

In a special July 31 meeting, the Region 12 Board of Education awarded a $133,000 contract to Imperial Company Inc. of Cromwell to repair the roof on Burnham School in Bridgewater.

The board also awarded a $252,600 contract to Beaulieu Company LLC, of Manchester to do roof repair at Booth Free School in Roxbury.

The work will be paid from the district's capital reserve account, said Bob Giesen, the district's director of finance. Those costs will leave some $270,000 in the account.

Whether the balance left would be put toward further repairs needed at all three primary schools will be up to a Region 12 board vote, Mr. Giesen said.

"These are the roofs we've had the most problems with over the years," he explained. "Over the last several years, their repair has been part of a series of building projects that didn't get funding. We've been patching again and again, and now a more complete repair can be done."

Mr. Giesen was pleased both roof repair projects came in below estimates. He attributed that partly to the economy and partly that both he and architects on the project, Silver Petrucelli, had estimated high to assure the money would be available to meet possible bids.

"We're cautiously optimistic that we will have these roofs completed before school starts," Mr. Giesen said.

In addition to the roof repairs, the district has begun evaluating lists of repairs needed at all three schools as submitted by the towns of Bridgewater, Roxbury and Washington.

Mr. Giesen planned to meet with a professional estimator by last Friday to determine possible costs for the work needed. He also plans to meet with bond counsel to determine what items could be paid through a bond issue.

Needed repairs to the three primary schools have not been done for several years. The 20-year leases on the schools ran out June 30 and the question of building one consolidated primary school for the region had loomed as a possibility.

Now, with a state Supreme Court ruling, dated Aug. 4, that halted school consolidation, first selectmen in the towns are optimistic work will be done to bring the three schools up to acceptable standards.

"I'm very pleased that the roof repairs will be done," said Roxbury First Selectman Barbara Henry. "I sat in on a discussion with the architect to be assured about the work. I'm pleased. I am sorry, however, that there are no leases in place so we won't be getting state reimbursements for the work."

Ms. Henry and the respective Bridgewater and Washington first selectmen, Bill Stuart and Mark Lyon, had sent a joint letter to the Region 12 board drawing a line in the sand about work having to begin on the three schools.

"We're willing to turn the page again and start over," Ms. Henry said. "There's a new board and hopefully we can move in the right direction to get the rest of the repairs done. So far, things look good."

"The new chairman (James Hirschfield) wrote us as soon as the whole board saw our letter," she noted. "And they're willing to work with us."

Contact Susan Tuz at stuz@newstimes.com or 860-355-7322