Recent rainfall has caused significant damage to the Industrial Technology building. In recent weeks the northeast Texas region received serious amounts of rainfall in a short span of time causing roads to flood and water damage to local businesses and other residential structures.
On the Northeast campus, the accumulating water caused issues with the gutter system as it quickly filled up. The overflowing gutters caused water and moisture to soak into the surrounding walls causing extensive damage to the east side of the building. According to Northeast President, Dr. Brad Johnson, a reported six inches or rain forced the relocation of a number of classes from building.
Plant Services Director Tom Ramler, said the efforts to try and dry the building out were ineffective.
“It wasn’t a normal flood where the water wicks up from the floor,” Ramler said, “in this situation, it came from the top down, and so all that insulation in the wall was soaking wet. There was no way to get the water out of that insulation, so the only way to solve this problem was to open those walls up.”
In order to fix the water damage, walls and insulation have been removed by Servpro of Paris, a residential and commercial restoration service company. and will have to be replaced. Ramler also said anything that was deemed harmful in the building, was sprayed to kill possible growth in the walls.
“The first step is to stop damage,” Ramler said, “everything that was wet has been torn out. Now we are waiting on the insurance adjuster to come back at us with their evaluation.”
Northeast has claimed this incident on the college’s insurance. It is unsure at the moment as to how much of the damages the insurance will pay for, but the college will have to pay the deductible first.
“We are hopeful the insurance will cover it all,” Vice President for Administrative Services Jeff Chambers said. “Talking with the insurance adjuster, I believe the insurance will cover a vast majority of it, if not all of it. The insurance has already let us know they we can continue to repair the things that we have been repairing. We are hoping to hear something from them maybe next as far as how much they’ll cover, and then, we will go from there.”
The water damage has caused the need to replace the drywall, insulation, the floor electrical and many of the ceiling tiles, along with some carpet and furniture, but there is no damage to the outside brick. Since the walls had to be removed, many classes were relocated throughout campus. Along with the classes, Communities in Schools was also relocated.
“There have been some complications, I’ve had to move a couple of times,” Spanish Instructor Jim Swann said. “I’ve had to have a little bit of time in the classroom to get things ready to do stuff. Basically, I see the interruption as being unfortunate. We have discovered some things that need to be fixed. We had some problems that existed that we didn’t know that we had.”
Even though instructors had to move their classes, some have found a positive aspect of the situation. Swann said the orientation of his temporary classroom has helped minimize disruptions caused by incoming late students. Johnson said faculty and students have shown versatility in the midst of
“Our faculty and students showed their flexibility and we have been able to relocate those classes quickly and effectively,” said Johnson. “If such an event had to occur, the timing is fortunate in that we still have architects, engineers and construction on campus to help us repair the facilities.”
As classes wind down for the semester Ramler said the he had no worries that the walls wouldn’t be fixed before classes start in the fall. Ramler is currently working on a way to make sure that this same issue doesn’t happen in the future.
“The other piece of this puzzle that we want to make sure before we make any repairs is that we have addressed the underlying problem,” said Ramler. “There is too much water in the gutters. We have the architect involved at this point looking at the gutters around the building and making recommendations for changes so that, when we do have the walls replaced on the inside, we don’t have a similar problem in the future.”