The Consistent Commotion of The SWHS Roof



South Windsor High School

The roof above SWHS is constantly being renovated. Annoyed teachers frantically move to shut their windows due to the sounds of drilling and hammering at 7 in the morning. Sitting at their desks, students attempt to retain the lessons in the classroom while they make an effort to ignore their noisy surroundings.

Modernize, a structural service company that specializes in gravel and tar roofs, which is also the type of roof on the high school, gives insight into the common process. Modernize website states that, “Tar and gravel roofs… is a system of flat roofing protection…can have a lifespan of up to 30 years.” 

Deb Field, a science teacher at SWHS who has been teaching for twenty-eight years has seen re-roofing occur twice on the building, though a roof made of tar and gravel like the one on the school should last longer than that. Therefore, the span between both re-roofing occurrences could have potentially lasted longer if the school had maintained the roof correctly. If properly handled, the community could have seen both of those projects last upwards of sixty years.

Field’s room is situated on the second floor of the building, making the disturbances of the roof project even worse for her as she is right below the consistent commotion. For Field, it’s less of the noise that’s a problem, rather it is the scent that comes along with the construction. For her, in particular, the tar smell ran through the ventilation system in the building. “I have a vent intake right over the fish room, so the [tar] air gets pulled in from there and if they were working near that,” explained Field.

Olivia Liegl, a student who has been at the school all four of her high school years, has had many classes on the second floor of the building. “From my freshman year all the way to my senior year I’ve heard the annoyance of loud machinery outside the windows of my various classes,” Liegl said. “I remember in my sophomore year biology class I was taking a test and it got so bad my teacher called down to the office because closing the windows didn’t help.”

So far this year, it seems that the distraction of the roof is not as prominent as it was in previous years. Students and staff alike are eager to get back to a normal learning schedule not only from the valid but repetitive COVID-19 restrictions but from the distraction of the roof itself.