The most common time to renovate a K-12 school is during the summer break while students and teachers are enjoying their time off. Northside and Llano Independent School Districts decided to do exactly that and utilize the time to get their schools in tip-top shape for the 2012-2013 school year.
Leon Springs Elementary School in San Antonio and Llano High School in Llano, Texas, were both in need of work to improve their campuses. Each school had exterior waterproofing issues that were necessary to repair by the beginning of the upcoming school year. Offering a competitive price with the highest quality of work and an aggressive schedule, Chamberlin was selected for the scope on Llano High School by the consultant, Vernon Dunagin and Associates and was chosen by the consultant, Raba Kistner Facilities, Inc., for Leon Springs with a combined contract amount of approximately $300,000.
In 1881, the first Leon Springs School was built as a one-room wooden building – enough space for one teacher and 32 students. By 1939 there were 115 students attending the school and a three-room masonry structure was built to serve as the education facility for years to come. By the late 1980s, the growing population of Leon Springs once again needed a larger elementary, and plans for the fourth school began. The current campus was built in 1991 and has grown to about 40 teachers and 600 students.
The two-story elementary school was in need of a waterproofing “facelift” after holding up strong for over 20 years. Chamberlin’s scope of work was to cut out and re-caulk joint sealants on the entire building. The exterior was then cleaned and coated with a combined product that consisted of a water repellent and graffiti control.
“Chamberlin Superintendent, Pablo Venegas, and his team performed brilliantly during the installation process due to the fact that the project specifications called for very particular installation parameters regarding the specified water repellent,” said Alex Gamble, Designer with Raba-Kistner. “Mr. Venegas’s attention to the scope of work and addressing the owner’s and design team’s concerns when needed was invaluable.”
Acoustic panels were installed on the inside of the gymnasium to help absorb sound and reduce echoing. Installing the panels was a challenge because they had to match the existing panels’ color and pattern. To achieve the closest look, Chamberlin compared color swatches to the aged panels and once a match was found, the new panels were then painted and installed. The exhaust vents in the gym were removed and replaced with block on the façade to infill the area. Lastly, an elastomeric coating was applied to all plaster locations.
Two hours north of San Antonio, Llano ISD was also beginning to make renovations to their only high school. The exterior of the building had many surface cracks, and when it rained heavily, water would find its way inside causing leaks throughout the building. There were multiple water infiltration issues as well as aesthetic repairs and maintenance items that were in need of attention.
Though it can sometimes be difficult to have only the summer break to complete a large waterproofing scope, the Chamberlin team was prepared for the tight schedule and began work as soon as school was out in June. Chamberlin pressure washed and applied water repellent to the entire 50,000 sq. ft. exterior. Existing joint sealants were cut-out and replaced with urethane at the control joints and window perimeters while downspouts were removed and replaced with new fabricated brackets and inlets.
The split-faced CMU block of the exterior was very rough with many surface cracks which made it a challenge to formulate the best method for installing the cleaner and sealer. The application rates were atypical due to the different depths of the exterior; therefore, Chamberlin had to collaborate with the manufacturer upfront to determine the proper coverage rates and agree on a mockup.
The exterior coating could not be installed at 95 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, so scheduling a time to install the work during the summer in Llano was difficult. To overcome the heat issue, work was completed on the west side of the building in the morning because it was shaded which kept the sealer cool enough to install, and as the sun would rise and fall during the day, work moved around the school accordingly. Some areas of the school were also closed on certain days when various camps were in session, which made effective coordination of work even more important.
“Project Superintendent, Donnie DeYoung, did a great job organizing the crews and carefully planning out the work for specified times which made for an effective and timely project,” said Patrick Halaszyn, Chamberlin Waterproofing Operations Manager.
Work wrapped up on both schools in August, just as teachers were beginning to prepare their classrooms for the new crowd of students. Advanced planning, coordination and productive manpower helped Chamberlin complete two successful projects during the short summer months.
“On behalf of Raba-Kistner Facilities, Inc., and our design team, I would gladly work with Mr. Venegas and the Chamberlin team in the future,” said Gamble. “The experience and familiarity of the required specifications were invaluable to this project.”