Asphalt roof repairs to begin at Student Union

The smell of hot tar may surround the Student Union at the beginning of the fall semester.

UAA maintenance will begin the process of fixing the leaking Student Union roof the first week of August.

“It’s time,” said Chris Turletes, interim associate vice chancellor for facilities and campus services. “I think it’s about 25 years old, and the insulation is soaked.”

The fix will require them to tear off the old roof surface and remove the damaged insulation, he said, then rebuild the roof insulation and membrane before applying a new surface to the asphalt roof.

The total project cost is $950,000, Turletes said. The money was approved for the fiscal year 2008 budget, which also provided funds to fix the old library roof.

He said the Student Union leaks around the roof drains, above the information desk, around the east atrium windows, and around many other penetrations in the roof for hoods and other mechanical devices. Each leak reduces the integrity of the roof.

“It’s a continuous maintenance effort,” Turletes said.

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The new roof will require less maintenance and allow staff to complete other needed tasks around campus. Fewer funds will also be required to fix anything the water damages, such as ceiling tiles. He said the saved money will go toward other maintenance needs across campus.

The project is dependent on good weather. It is scheduled to last until October, before snow comes.

He said while the asphalt is being replaced, the building will be open but will smell like hot tar.

“Not everyone is a fan of the hot- tar smell,” Turletes said. “Health-wise, there’s no concerns.”