At the request of our client in northern Louisiana, BE-CI was engaged to investigate and report on the overall condition of the building envelope and prepare design restoration documents for bid procurement. The original school building was designed and constructed in the early 1930s and established as a National Landmark in May 1985. The project consisted of multi-wythe brick walls with steel reinforcement, single brick wythe walls over cast in place concrete, as well as cast stone coping on the parapet walls, columns and along the base of the building. In 1951, a Physical Education building was added, and in 1995-1996 the school underwent a major restoration project that included repairs to the auditorium, cast stone panels, brick masonry, as well as replacement of the original wood windows and roofing systems.
BE-CI was challenged with completing all services before the new school year was to begin late that summer. Although we were provided copies of the original hand-written drawings, they lacked certain construction details and illustrations that are usually available in modern documents, which meant we had to look deeper. Our detailed leak investigation and infrared thermography surveying methods revealed multiple water leaks throughout the project, which had resulted in the degradation of building envelope components and damage to interior finishes. BE-CI completed our services within the allotted time frame and created documents which included restoration efforts related to brick walls, metal shelf angles, cast stone, expansion joints, perimeter sealants, roofing and the internal gutter system, as well as certain interior repairs. Considerable care and consideration was given to maintaining the original aesthetics of the building.