The Runnels School | Baton Rouge Flooding & School Building Restoration
Wayne, the work USR did was excellent, and we are honored for you to use our school as a story for a job well done! Reading this your narrative of the flood stirred up many of the emotions that I felt the first days after the flood. I remember how relieved I was to hear your comforting words when we first drove onto campus. I recall you saying, ‘Darlin, I promise you we can make this better.’ You have kept that promise and far exceeded our expectations.
On August 18, 2016, US Restoration (USR), a licensed Louisiana specialty restoration contractor was selected for the recovery of the renowned Runnels School in Baton Rouge. The school’s campus on South Harrell’s Ferry Road suffered extensive damage from flooding, as nearly 7 Trillion gallons of rain fell upon Livingston Parish in just one week.
Our response began right away, while there was still approximately 4′ of flood waters still covering South Harrell’s Ferry Road. We arrived on-site and toured the facility with staff from The Runnels School. Flood waters within the school measured between 2″ and 4′. At its worst, all campus buildings contained at least 2.5′ of water, as shown by high water lines on drywall. After Runnels’ staff were able to examine the extent of the damage, they decided to move their operations to their Loss Site while remediation work took place at their school.
Our work began with a thorough review of the site and assessments of all 18 buildings on the grounds. We needed to understand the scope of the flood damage and identify the best way to remediate the structures so that they could be reconstructed as quickly as possible. The combined square footage of all buildings was 75,000 sf. All spaces were filled with flood waterborne contaminants and damaged contents. Immediate reservation of large rental commercial drying equipment and generators was key to getting the job moving in the right direction.
Initial work included removal of the wood gym floor that had buckled. We remediated the gym to make a clean room so that we could salvage school contents and have a suitable staging location for supplies and equipment. Stabilizing the buildings with DX commercial equipment to prevent mold growth to both contents and walls above the 4’ drywall cut.
Remediation and demolition was completed in just 3 weeks, thanks to 90 crew members. Some highlights of our remediation plan included:
- All non-salvageable contents below 3’ were bagged and discarded.
- Items above the 3’ lower was bagged and labeled of the rooms they were removed. All these items were placed in a sectioned off area in the Gym, where they could be cleaned and stored in a designated clean area.
- All damaged computers including monitors and other electronics were inventoried and labeled by room, then placed in a special area to be inventoried and properly disposed of by school IT department.
- Electronics above the 4” level were stored in a special climate controlled and secure location in the Gym.
- The Elementary & High School book rooms sustained the same level of water intrusion as the other buildings – all books below 4’ were discarded those above 4’ were crated and stored in the gym.
Structural hygiene cleaning was performed on all open wall cavities, foam spray caulking was applied to gaps of the base plates and exterior walls – Mold resistant encapsulation was applied to all exterior walls.
A third-party industrial hygienist took 125 samples throughout the campus to verify that our remediation work was according to plan. Our close attention to detail ensured that our work passed muster on the first pass. Once we got the OK to proceed, it was time to begin drywall replacement and other finishing operations to bring the 18 buildings back on line so the school could begin to get back to normal.
Reconstruction efforts included:
- Replacing all drywall under 4 ft
- Preparation finish painting and trim work
- Floor finishes
- Post construction cleaning
- Content replacement
- Final Site Cleaning
- Exterior Pressure washing: Buildings, Parking Lot, Sidewalks, and Playgrounds