NEW MILFORD — Plans to replace the high school roof have accelerated after it was damaged by a violent macroburst in May.

Mayor Pete Bass said the high school roof was regularly losing shingles, costing $10,000 to $15,000 a year to replace.

Now the roof is leaking, prompting the town to patch it at a cost of $200,000 while it works on a permanent replacement.

“We had a Band-Aid approach at the time, but the recent rains have made it worse,” school board Chairman David Lawson said.

A timeline for the patching hasn’t been set, though officials said it’s being done as quickly as possible.

“We know we want to get it done properly and in a timely fashion,” Lawson said.

He said he couldn’t comment on the extent of the leaks, but they “were enough to cause concern.”

At a Sept. 12 Board of Finance meeting, Bass said he was using the $200,000 now to fix the leaks because they had become a health-and-safety issue. He said he will return to the school and finance boards, as well as Town Council and residents for approvals once the entire roof plan is ready to be reviewed.

“I wanted (this presentation) as a courtesy to the Board of Finance because if this wasn’t an emergency, it would go through your body,” Bass said.

Sarah Noble Intermediate School, the high school, and several town buildings will be included in a full roof-replacement plan, which is expected to be completed by January. The town and schools are working together on the plan, including how to pay for it.

The high school roof involves the most decisions as officials look at whether it should be replaced with metal, as initially intended, or asphalt like it has now. An asphalt roof would have to be brought up to the new code standards, which would require additional expenses. There is also the possibility of adding solar panels to the high school.

Finance Director Greg Osipow said the emergency $200,000 will come from the fund balance, and it will be refunded once the town receives the insurance money.

He said the town wants to get the patching done by winter, before the leaks cause infrastructure damage.

“Right now, we’re putting our finger in the dike as we plan for the future,” Osipow said.; 203-731-3345