Utah State Prison Inmates Install New Roof at Heber Valley Visitors Center

In a unique program coordinated by the state of Utah, ten inmates and their supervisors recently installed a new synthetic shake roof on the Heber Valley Visitors Center. The minimum security inmates from the Lone Peak facility at the Utah State prison completed the re-roofing project in 10 days with outstanding results.

Constructed in 1992, the alpine-style visitors center was in dire need of a new roof. “When the team started pressure washing our wood shake roof this past autumn, water began leaking into the building,” says Rachel Kahler, marketing and events manager for the Heber Valley Visitors Center. “The original wood shake roof had deteriorated badly over time and had finally given out.”

“After reviewing our options and budget, we decided the best solution was new composite roofing from DaVinci Roofscapes in a Tahoe-VariBlend,” Kahler notes. “These simulated shake tiles beautifully accent our peg-and-groove building. The tiles look extremely authentic. People now stop in our visitors center and ask us about the roof on the building!”

Wasatch County officials relate that Utah Correctional Industries (UCI) program inmates have installed two other roofs on county buildings in the past — on the courts/jail building in 2014 and on the county administrative building in 2012. “UCI does very good work,” says Mike Davis, Wasatch County manager. “They’re responsive and the quality of work is excellent. This was the first time our county used DaVinci products and we’re exceptionally pleased with their look and durability. The next time we have a county roofing project we’ll definitely consider another DaVinci roof.”

Smooth Installation

With the decision made to re-roof the Heber Valley Visitors Center with Bellaforté Shake roofing tiles, county leaders turned to Utah Correctional Industries (UCI) for installation assistance. Started in 1997 in conjunction with the Division of Facilities and Construction Management, the roofing program provides job training to low risk inmates who have been cleared and qualified for the work release program.

The aging wood shake roof on the Heber Valley Visitors Center was replaced with Bellaforté Shake synthetic slate from DaVinci Roofscapes. Photos: DaVinci Roofscapes

“The objective is to enable prisoners to make a contribution to society,” says Jason Manwaring, correctional industries supervisor for UCI. “The program helps reduce prison idleness while increasing inmate job skills that can improve the prospects for a successful transition back into the community when they’re released.”

For the re-roofing of the Heber Valley Visitors Center with simulated shake tiles, UCI inmates, under the supervision of Manwaring and Adam Pierce, learned skills associated with the installation of Bellaforté Shake roofing tiles. “The DaVinci team was very supportive of this project, making it go smoothly for everyone involved,” says Manwaring. “This is a product that is very self-explanatory to install and the inmates were able to complete the entire roofing project in less than two weeks.”

According to Rachel Kahler with the visitors center, the inmates did exemplary work. “These individuals were respectful, kind and professional,” says Kahler. “Because we’re in a high-profile location, we get 25,000 cars passing us daily on Main Street. Whenever visitors stopped in our center during the roofing process, the inmates ensured the area was clean and the building accessible — all while working efficiently to have the roof installed in a timely manner.”


Roof System Installer: Utah Correctional Industries (UCI), West Salt Lake City, Utah, uci.utah.gov


Synthetic Shake: Bellaforté Shake, DaVinci Roofscapes, davinciroofscapes.com

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