Ferriday school gets foundation repair

Published 1:10 am Friday, August 31, 2007

FERRIDAY — At the end of the school day Thursday, Ferriday Junior High students wove through the halls, making sure not to trip on black hoses that were part of a repair project to the school.

Contractors are raising the school foundation, which was found to be sinking.

The slump was first discovered approximately two years ago, when small hairline cracks began to form along several walls.

Email newsletter signup

The cracks were caused because the school’s foundation began sinking due to unstable soil conditions.

The school was built on the original foundation of the now burned Sevier High School, and engineers have since confirmed the foundation itself is stable.

Pointing out several interior and exterior cracks, Sherman Billedeaux with Centerline Foundation Repair and Uretek Deep South said the work is already showing some success.

“We’re already closing up the cracks,” he said.

Some of the cracks, now pushed together, were almost a couple of inches wide, and the slump had caused a building shift that made some doors impossible to open, Billedeaux said.

“Now it’s basically a matter of cosmetic repair,” he said.

To lift the building, the crews first screwed piers into the foundation.

The piers, which will serve as a piling under the building once the project is complete, were set up to a jack for lifting the building.

From there, it was only a matter of lifting.

The contractors were also working to try to ensure the problem doesn’t occur again.

Drilling holes through the center of the foundation from the inside of the building, crews worked to pump a urethane foam to help distribute the building’s weight off of its perimeter, where the new pilings were being placed, Billedeaux said.

The foam will also serve to fill in the gaps in the soil that originally caused the slab to shift, he said.

“This will redensify the soils,” he said. “With this foam, the more pressure there is on it, there is a chemical reaction that makes it denser.”

Two rooms at Ferriday Upper Elementary School were utilized for FJHS classes at the beginning of the school year until repairs could be made, but classes have continued unhindered in all but one corner of the school.

The Concordia Parish School Board voted in June to do the repairs at a cost of $479,800.