Marietta City Hall’s roof leaks

As plans continue for the renovation of Marietta’s City Hall, one major concern that will have to be addressed first is the aging building’s leaky roof.

“There are actually three roofs on this building front to back,” said city safety-service director Jonathan Hupp.

He said a slate roof covers the front portion of the building, but the center and back sections of the roof are flat and have been covered with a combination of deteriorating foam and membrane materials that allow rain water to leak through.

“Leaks are also developing in the roof over the fire department,” Hupp said. “The roof has been patched and drains cleaned out, but it still leaks.”

Puddles of standing water have stained the second floor’s main hallway, just outside the former municipal courtroom. And buckets or trash cans have been strategically placed to catch water dripping into the police detectives’ offices every time it rains.

“The main hallway stays wet, and some of the police records had to be moved out of a closet in our office and onto temporary shelving in a hallway because the closet ceiling has started leaking,” said police computer specialist Rhett Walters.

Wet ceiling tiles have fallen to the floor in several places on the second floor, exposing wiring and insulation.

Many of the leaks were evident long before the Marietta Municipal Court moved out of the city hall building in 2012 into a new location on the corner of Third and Butler streets.

In February city council approved hiring Davis Pickering Architects from Parkersburg, to begin preliminary design work toward a total renovation of city hall after the municipal court moved out.

But on Tuesday city engineer Joe Tucker said before any upgrades can be done inside the building, a new roof will have to be installed.

“Replacement of the roof has always been anticipated as part of the city hall work as water is infiltrating into the building,” he told members of council’s lands, buildings and parks committee.

Tucker said he wants to expedite the roof work, which could cost roughly between $100,000 and $130,000.

“The entire flat roof area has to be replaced,” he said. “The current membrane and spray foam roofing is at least 15 years old. There is also a brick parapet around the roof with a capstone that’s loose. And restoration work will also have to be done on some of the brick masonry.”

In addition, Tucker said the roof does not have a proper pitch which prevents adequate drainage of rainwater.

“This will not be a simple re-roofing job, because we also need to seal the roof to prevent water from leaking inside the walls of the building,” he said. “And core samples of the roof will have to be taken to determine which areas are made of concrete, metal decking, or other materials.”

Tucker said as much work as possible would be done in-house for the roofing project, but the engineering department has a limited number of people and many other city projects to complete.

Engineering department project manager Jarrod Schultheisz said Fiber Tite Roofing of Wooster, the roofing supplier for the new municipal court building project, would be working with city engineers to help determine the scope of the project and develop roofing specifications.

“But this project has to be fast-tracked because of the deterioration caused by water leaking into the building,” he said. “That water intrusion has to be stopped before any other work can be done.”