By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Dripping water and falling ceiling tiles made it overly obvious several months ago that the “band-aids” placed liberally across Atmore City Hall Auditorium’s roof were no longer sufficient to treat the facility’s wounds.
Ronny Wedgeworth, owner of Flomaton-based Dan Wedgeworth Roofing Co., and his crew began recently an emergency roof-replacement project that was approved by the city council on June 8 at an estimated cost of $21,000.
The roofers worked a week in the blistering heat to remove the metal panels covering the auditorium and replace them with a high-quality, commercial-grade rubber roofing material, known as white membrane, that is weather-resistant and virtually immune to damage from tears, impacts, punctures and light foot traffic.
“They finally got to us,” Mayor Jim Staff said as Wedgeworth workers toiled above. “Our firemen went up there, and a whole sheet of (the metal roof) was rolled up. They put it back, but we still had one little leak. This is that white membrane stuff that they’re using now, so we know it’s good.”
Staff said city officials would be reminded ever so often that serious deficiencies existed in the roof’s effectiveness when an occasional puddle would form on the auditorium floor or large squares of ceiling tile would come crashing down.
A photograph taken from outer space finally provided concrete proof that a new roof was the only solution to the continuing problems.
“If you look at the pictures, the ones taken from a satellite, you can see that it looks like a checkerboard, it’s been patched so many times,” the mayor said. “It looks like there’s about 100 patches up there. This new roof won’t leak, and it will help insulate the building to make our air conditioner unit more efficient. We really needed this; I’m glad we finally got it.”