Dallas County Community College District Office Restoration Meets Historical, Owner and Company Standards

Chamberlin Roofing & Waterproofing has successfully renovated what is known as the old Sears Roebuck Building built in 1914. This building was established to serve as a warehouse and distribution center and was the first Sears warehouse outside of Chicago, the company's headquarters. Additions were first added to the building in 1915 and 1916 when the size of the warehouse was increased to 1.5 million square feet on 18 acres. In 1993, Sears closed its regional office due to consolidation and vacated the complex.
 
What was known as the old Sears Roebuck & Co. Catalogue Merchandise Center has now been renovated into a mixed-use center with retail, over 450 loft-style apartments and a small adjacent office portion that houses the new downtown offices of the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD).
 
Turner Construction brought Chamberlin on to the project this past summer to perform an extremely comprehensive scope of restoration services for the owner, DCCCD, in order to make the building useable and enhance its architectural significance as a historical registered building.
 
The new DCCCD district office is made up of a four-story office building, courtyard area and a small cotton gin building. Chamberlin's scope of work involved the complete restoration of the interior and exterior office building as well as the courtyard and gin building. After being unoccupied and unmaintained for many years, the space had numerous interior concrete spalls, years of exposed concrete and metal lintels that were deteriorated, a roof that was comparable to Swiss cheese, and 88-year-old wax-based sealants at all key waterproofing joints.
 
During restoration Chamberlin had to keep in mind that a registered historical building requires specialized approved methods for the remediation process that relate to both materials and he installation process. While Chamberlin was allowed to use some mechanical means during the restoration process, the majority of the work was a result of hand preparation as well as hand installation of new materials.
 
The walls, which were three bricks thick, had to not only be rebuilt by hand but also required like-sized brick replacements that were sourced from multiple stockyard locations around north Texas. The existing paint colors and textures had to be matched and re-matched. And some natural stones had to be replaced with matching cast stone. Numerous mortar joints were raked out and tuck pointed not only with correct technique, but also to the standards of matching mortar, texture and color.
 
While this work was being conducted, weekly reviews with the project management team and their representatives were held to review the process and make sure that the quality of the work being completed was in compliance with the historical standards established for the project. Chamberlin was given the mission of meeting the owner's desire for quality and strict construction progress. This was accomplished in conjunction with meeting historical standards and Chamberlin's own operational mandates of safety, quality and productivity. It is safe to say, this project is a "mission accomplished."
 
The DCCCD plans to begin moving several departments into the building in January.