Restoring a Tornado-Damaged High School in Indiana

By Denise Johnson | February 19, 2013
The Facts

Who: Service On Site (SOS) Contents, a division of Enservio

What: $2 million damage to Henryville Junior-Senior High School

Where: Henryville, Indiana

When (DOL): March 2, 2012

How the damage happened: EF-4 tornado

The Process
photo: Enservio/SOS
Photo: Double D Consulting

Just in time for back to school, and only five months after an EF-4 tornado severely damaged Henryville Junior-Senior High School in Indiana, school officials and the community celebrated the school’s reopening.

Service On Site (SOS), a division of Enservio that provides onsite contents loss inventorying, worked on the reconstruction project that enabled students to return on time to the repaired school. The company was assigned by the school’s insurer, The Hanover Insurance Group, the day after the tornado struck to help expedite the claims process.

A four person team arrived the following Monday to inventory the school’s non-salvageable items.

“We went in room by room, in standing water and debris, and just very methodically went through and inventoried each room,” said Bill Stickler, vice president of SOS.

The team had to reconstruct eight rooms that were destroyed on the second floor of the 220,000 square foot high school. After completing the inventories, the team worked one on one with teachers to help reconstruct classrooms with replacement desks, chairs and school supplies.

Henryville Junior Senior High School damaged by EF-4 tornado. Photo: Enservio/SOS
Henryville Junior Senior High School damaged by EF-4 tornado. Photo: Double D Consulting

The tornado completely destroyed a two story section of the school. The school library sustained the most extensive damage. Nearly 20,000 items including computers, desks, chairs, furniture and books were inventoried, assessed for value and replaced. More than 10,000 additional items damaged or completely destroyed throughout other areas of the school accounted for the remainder of the contents claims.

SOS stayed on site for six days, followed up with teachers periodically and provided a 30,000 line item inventory by late July. The claim was valued at nearly $2 million.

One challenge during the project, according to Stickler, was the number of contractors on site making communication among vendors tantamount to completing the project on time. Every morning, a meeting was held with all of the contractors on site to establish duties for the day and to provide an update on progress.

photo: Enservio/SOS
Photo: Double D Consulting

According to Stickler, his team came away from the assignment with a greater appreciation for the communication that is necessary for larger commercial losses. In addition, he said that large commercial losses need to be approached in a methodical manner to achieve the best possible outcome.

“The damage was so severe, many thought it would take years to get the school up and running again, but with the project coordination and dedication of The Hanover’s team on the ground, everyone came together to focus on getting the work done right and in time for the beginning of the school year,” Stickler said. “Our team is honored to have had the opportunity to participate in the project and to work so closely with such a strong community and claims team.”

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