On the night of February 16, 2021, a severe winter storm caused temperatures to drop to -4 degrees Fahrenheit overnight. At the same time, due to the rolling blackouts across the state of Texas, power was cut by Oncor to Allen City Hall. This disabled the heating and air condition system within City Hall and caused temperatures to drop substantially inside the building. This caused the Fire Suppression system in the rotunda ceiling to freeze, resulting in a ruptured joint in the piping and causing a massive release of water onto the third, second, and first floors of the lobby and mezzanine.
The alarms alerted City Staff who disabled the system. The entire system was shut down and staff members served as fire watch multiple nights and began basic mitigation measures from the flood of water in the unoccupied building. Restoration Specialists was the only company contacted by City Staff who could respond immediately as hospitals, schools, and other essential facilities around the Metroplex were experiencing similar bursts and loss of power.
Restoration Specialists came out and were able to perform professional mitigation and remediation necessary to clean up the damage. It was determined that part of the reason for the burst pipe was that the insulation in the ceiling was not applied properly when City Hall was constructed in 1999-2000. Instead of the insulation being located under the decking, it was laid on top of the ceiling grid, and the sprinkler lines extended through it into an uninsulated cavity.
City Staff hired an Engineering company to investigate and provide a recommendation for improvement in order to ensure that this would not happen again. During investigations and scaffolding design, the ceiling grid was identified as a "laid in place ceiling" and it was determined necessary to remove the ceiling and install a new ceiling when the new insulation is installed.
In addition to the ceiling repairs, the 2nd & 3rd floor mezzanines, an office on the 2nd floor, and the ceiling of the 1st floor rotunda area must all be stripped down and restored. During the renovations, scaffolding will be erected throughout the Rotunda and safe routes established to allow the building to remain open and safe for city staff, vendors, and the public.
Restoration Specialists has been involved with the City, pricing and investigating the extent of the damage. Best value and state procurement requirements for this service have been achieved through the use of Purchasing Cooperative of America (PCA JOC Award #325-20) - a cooperative that we have joined.