I'm an architect and I work on a lot of schools. Last year I was standing on a 45 year old flat roof with a client who, in order to stop it from leaking, wanted my firm to build a pitched roof on top of the flat roof and then use cheap asphalt shingles. The flat roof had never been patched or maintained and leaked like a sieve.
Client: This roof leaks really bad.
Me: Well it's the original roof, its seen better days.
C: Yea, and it's flat. Flat roofs leak more then normal roofs.
M: Actually that's not true, I can get you a longer warranty on a flat roof then for most sloped.
C: This roof leaks because it's flat, pitched roofs don't leak.
M: No, it leaks because it's a 45 year old roof that was never maintained and was only suppose to last 30 years to begin with.
C: We want something that will last 30-40 years.
M: There's always metal or copper those will last over 40 years
C: No, those are too expensive we don't have that kind of money
M: Then you need *X* type of roofing to replace what you have here, it's about $10 a square foot, comes with a 40 year guarantee and you won't have to pay for framing a pitch.
C: (indignantly) No! we don't want any more flat roofs, they leak! We want a pitched roof with shingles.
M: (realizing I'm talking to an idiot) Okay, we can frame this up and use asphalt shingles. It'll cost 4-6 time more but the longest warranty they're going to give you for that is 20 years.
C: NO, we want it to last 40!
And people wonder why the money doesn't get to the kids