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Mission plans to fix library and museum roofs

The Speer Memorial Library and the Mission Historical Museum are ready for roof replacements.

This week, the city of Mission held a regular meeting and a workshop. The city council, mayor and city manager addressed the issues the library and museum have been having in regards to their roofs.

City of Mission logoDuring the regular called meeting, held on Mon. Oct. 28, council discussed the potential authorization for the city to solicit competitive proposals for roof replacements. City Engineer J.P. Terrazas said they were going for bids so the department could form a committee and hire a contractor.

“We’ve been having a lot of leaks in the museum and also in the library,” Terrazas said, explaining they were planning on completely tearing off the roof of the library, the museum annex and part of the museum’s main building. “We already have plans designed.”

Prior to the regular meeting, council was not given specifics on the budget or the scope of work on these projects. Mayor Pro-Tem Norie Gonzalez Garza asked if they could get more of that information before moving forward.

“Keep in mind we already have an architect to oversee this, and we also have a structural engineer,” Mayor Armando O’caña said to Gonzalez Garza. “The structural engineer and the architects are the ones who developed the scope of work.”

Eric Hinojosa of Hinojosa Engineering, Inc. is handling the library and museum roofing projects, and Jose Carlos (Charlie) Garcia III of ARKiiFORM, LLC is acting as the architect. Council member Jessica Ortega-Ochoa said that when items like these are on the agenda, they’d like to have the architect and engineer present to answer their questions.

The council asked for the schematics the city had on the projects. City Manager Randy Perez said, in terms of the library project, they would also be looking at the windows, which have been causing further issues with leaking.

“It is a complete renovation of the roof, along with those components that we felt were part of the issues, such as the windows and the resealing of the roof itself,” Perez said.

Gonzalez Garza said they’d like to see a presentation on the projects with more details, because they are likely to be costly. She also noted that they would like to see the design before the solicitation of bids.

Ortega-Ochoa agreed, adding that when they were in the process of creating the Mission Event Center, the original design was quite different before the council measured the costs and determined how it would be finalized.

Perez said that they would be holding the workshop the next day in order to discuss the projects. Gonzalez Garza was hesitant to approve the authorization on the agenda, however, before seeing the entire scope of work.
O’caña pressed for the council to approve it during Monday’s meeting.

“If we don’t approve this, we’ll have to wait for the next council meeting,” O’caña said. “I’ve been inside the library when it’s been raining, and our children and citizens have been in there, and you can see the rain coming from the roof, and it’s been a while since we’ve worked on this project. So time is of the essence.”

Council member Ruben Plata asked why they were just addressing the issues now. Purchasing Director Eduardo Belmarez said they had to do their due diligence and inspect comparable roofs in order to define what was in the best interest of the city.

Gonzalez Garza said that the council should be involved in these decisions, so they could be aware of what exactly the proposals entail. The item was tabled until the next council meeting.

The next day (Oct. 29), the mayor, council and city manager met for a workshop where Hinojosa and Garcia presented their designs, budgets and plans for the Speer Memorial Library and Mission Historical Museum roof renovations.

The scope of work includes a complete re-roofing for the library, a re-roofing of the annex building, a canopy connected to the annex and a partial re-roofing of the main historical building for the museum.

Garcia has met with the library and museum staff members in order to understand their experience with the roofs, and the firm also conducted some tests on the roofs to see what level of renovations were needed.

“We want to go ahead and get everything off the top of the roof, and inspect the decking and structural membranes, and come back with a roof system that will be good for the next 20, 25, years, and even longer,” Garcia said, explaining that the the current TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) single membrane roof that the library roof currently has will be replaced with a PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) single membrane.

The firm plans on getting a 20-year warranty on the roofs, with a 2-year installation warranty. Renovations and reconstruction are planned to take 120 days for the library, and once the contractor is hired they will coordinate scheduling with the city and departments in order to ensure that the library and museum are not completely closed during construction.

Hinojosa Engineering and ARCHiiFORM have been working on these projects for about 5 months.

They have met with the Texas Historical Commission to ensure any renovations to the museum roof do not change the historical integrity of the buildings, which is why it has taken time to get started. After discussion and some modifications to the initial plans, they were given the green light to renovate the museum roof as long as nothing of historical significance will be changed.

“We’re not touching any of the facade, we’re not touching any of the windows, we’re not touching anything of historical significance,” Garcia said. “The roof and the roof tiles are not part of the historical registration, so anything we do to the roof we’re pretty much free and clear for the Historical Commission.”

City Manager Perez noted that the final costs for the projects may vary, but the engineers are estimating that the total budget for these projects will be at $1.3 million.

“It’s about 15 years old or so,” Perez said about the library roof. “It’s really the membrane, the flat roof that’s worn out. It’s created pockets where water gets in and leaks to the library, so we want to do a complete renovation of the roof.”

The library-specific roof replacement costs will be approximately $1 million, and the museum-specific costs make up $300,000.

“Those are very preliminary estimates,” Perez said.

This article originally appeared in the Friday Nov. 1, 2019 issue of the Progress Times.

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