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Lee Schools approved $260,000 contract for roof repairs. In less than a year, it came crashing down

District says CFS Roofing Services, LLC did the work
Posted at 8:46 PM, Jun 23, 2020

UPDATE 12:05 p.m. 06/24/2020: We have spoken with David Crowther, owner of CFS Roofing Services.

He responded to the story, in part, with the following comments:

"We were contracted in 2019 to remove the roll roofing down at Bonita Elementary, and to replace the roll roofing... Roll roofing is not a structural product, it's just an architectural product. It has very little weight to it, and it's a minuscule amount compared to the live load that I believe caused the problem down there," said Crowther. "Conventional construction is concrete block, bar joist, and steel deck made out of steel. The construction down there, that was built 100 years ago, was made out of wood trusses and wood decking... My instincts are telling me it was a 100-year-old building and the trusses just gave way."

The Lee County School District says it’s still investigating into why a roof collapsed earlier this month at Bonita Springs Elementary.

No one was in the building at the time because school wasn’t in session, but now, we’re learning that a contractor was working on that roof less than 5 months before it finally came down.

On Tuesday, crews were busy at Bonita Springs, still cleaning up the mess left behind after the roof came down. It was a shocking moment for students and teachers, all thankful they were nowhere near the building when it happened.

The school district is still trying to figure out why it happened, but now, we've learned more details about the roof itself.

In October of last year, the school board approved spending $260,000 on roof improvements at Bonita Springs Elementary. The work was supposed to be done by January 31st, but less than 5 months later, the roof came crashing down.

In a response to our inquiry, the school district responded, saying in part: "CFS Roofing Services, LLC performed the roofing work at Bonita Springs Elementary in 2019... no structural upgrades or modifications were made last year, just roofing material. The roof collapse is under review.”

We put a call in to CFS, but so far, we haven’t heard back. We also reached out to school board member Chris Patricca, because Bonita Springs is in her district.

“I am concerned whenever we have issues on our campuses. However, I cannot draw any conclusions until the investigation is completed," said Patricca in a statement.

We've also learned, in the original contract, the work at Bonita Springs Elementary was only one part. The full contract included roofing work at 6 different schools, for a total of $6.5 million.

Here is a link to the details from board documents.

CORRECTION 3:06 p.m. 06/24/2020: We previously reported that CFS Roofing Services was affiliated with Crowther Roofing and Sheet Metal. This was incorrect. They are two separate companies that bear no affiliation. The article has been altered to reflect that.