One of the more violent storms to hit central Wisconsin during the summer of 2017 resulted in one of the more distinctive projects of the year for Friede & Associates.
On the evening of July 19, 2017, witnesses reported that a strong thunderstorm had passed through the area, and waterpark guests recalled being startled by a loud noise from the roof. An hour later, a guest at the resort noticed flames coming from the top of the building’s parapet wall. Firefighters from the Kilbourn Fire Department arrived and quickly scaled the 60-foot walls. There they found one of the walls ablaze and noticed substantial damage to the adjoining roof area. They extinguished the fire and left the resort.
A short while later, Chula Vista security personnel noticed flames coming from another section of the wall, nearly 100 feet away, and the fire department was called again. When they arrived, another parapet wall was found in flames and an additional section of the roof completely burned through.
Fewer than five hours later, Friede & Associates’ staff met with the Chula team and their insurance representative on-site to begin both the immediate clean-up and the necessary work to make the building water-tight until permanent repairs could be made.
Our team has substantial experience in fire restoration work, having helped Chula Vista with the rebuilding of their golf clubhouse when it had been destroyed by fire in the spring of 2014, as well as with numerous other industrial projects throughout the years.
It was agreed that our team would handle the insurance claim and would assist Chula personnel with the submission of their permanent repair costs, as well as their personal property claim. In addition, we would work with Chula and the insurance company to capture the actual personnel costs of Chula’s employees who would work on the repair project. Over the next few weeks the project scope was defined and agreed to, and project cost estimates were completed by our team.
We coordinated with Chula personnel and senior management to devise a plan for the removal and reinstallation of nearly 200 feet of wall sections while keeping the waterpark open. This would ultimately include the installation of both scaffolding on the inside and outside of the exterior walls and a fabric cover over the scaffolding to reduce the amount of heat loss from the waterpark, in addition to keeping the outdoor environment from impacting park guests.
The plan for the wall replacement required that a section of the damaged wall would be removed each day, the opening size determined for the replacement panel, and a new section of wall rebuilt on the ground. Then, the panel would be lifted by crane back into place, where it would be secured to the glulam super structure of the building. Most challenging was all these wall sections were to be installed 45 feet above ground and that each section would need to be raised and lowered back into the gap created between the scaffolding and the wall superstructure. Despite these challenges, the exterior wall work was completed over a two-week timeframe in late fall.
Once the new panels were in place, a new vapor barrier was installed on the inside of the panel and then the wall cavity was insulated. The interior side of the panel was then drywalled and painted. Finally, the exterior was sheeted and then a vapor barrier was installed prior to the EIFS system being reinstalled.
Despite the immediacy of the repairs and the challenges of working on a structure that was fully operational, the $1.1 million project was successfully completed. Through creative construction methods including panelizing the sections, using scaffolding and fabric to isolate the construction zone, and scheduling the work of all the trades to allow for their timely use of the scaffolding system, Chula Vista was able to continue operations unhindered.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Our efforts to help Chula Vista not only resulted in a project well done, but have recently been notified that the project will be receiving a 2018 Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Wisconsin Projects of Distinction Silver Award in the Renovation and Restoration Category at the ABC Winter Convention in February.