AIDB plans for emergency repairs to E.H. Gentry roof
The Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind executive committee members declared during a meeting Friday that emergency repairs must be made following Monday’s storms.

Strong gusts of wind blew away sections of the E.H. Gentry Facility roof, forcing members to unanimously approve expediting the bidding process for repairs.

“Under normal circumstances, we advertise bid requests in print publications for three weeks to provide contractors an opportunity to bid on upcoming projects,” said David Akins, the institute’s chief financial officer. “Since the damages were unexpected and directly impact the safety and quality of life of our students, we decided to expedite the bid so we can make these repairs in a timely manner.”

By law, the institution must seek a minimum of three bids from general contractors on the repair project.

“We don’t have an estimate of the damages to the facility from our insurance providers at this time, but we should receive notification within two weeks,” Akins said. “We anticipate the cost to fix the damages will be in the neighborhood of $200,000.”

Committee members unanimously authorized John Mascia, the institute’s president, to spend up to $300,000 in order to repair and upgrade the outdated roof, which is made from coal tar pitch.

“The executive committee has the authority of the full board to make these decisions,” said Lynwood French, the committee’s chairman. “That’s what we were elected to do.”

Akins reported the timeline for the project to the committee, anticipating the bid to be awarded between April 8-11 and for construction to begin April 15 and end June 15.

“We were very fortunate no one was injured because this could have been a tragedy,” Mascia said.

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