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Henryville, Indiana, USA
In 2012, a category F4 tornado ravaged the town of Henryville, Indiana, directly hitting the Henryville Schools’ campus. In a news interview, junior and senior high school principal Troy Albert said, “We had two hits and the hailstorm... but 85 people walked out of that building and not a scratch on us.” School and state officials vowed to try and rebuild in time for the coming school year.
According to the construction project manager, Kawneer entrances and windows on the original school buildings held up well against the tornado, so a range of Kawneer products were also used in the reconstruction process. The design of the new schools is very similar to the previous facilities, so students were able to return to school on time and be in a space that was both new and completely familiar.
REBUILDING A SCHOOL AND A COMMUNITY
Just after 3:00 p.m. on Friday, March 2, 2012, a category F4 tornado ravaged the town of Henryville, Indiana, directly hitting the Henryville Schools’ campus, which houses the elementary school and is connected to the junior and senior high school. Though school had been dismissed early and most students made it home in time to find shelter, one bus returned to the school because the driver feared they could not make it home safely before the tornado arrived. That afternoon, more than 80 students and teachers huddled inside school offices as the tornado tore through the buildings. In a March 5th interview with Indiana’s Fox59, junior and senior high school principal Troy Albert said, “We had two hits and the hailstorm... but 85 people walked out of that building and not a scratch on us.”
After the tornado, school and state officials vowed to try and rebuild in time for the coming school year. Birmingham, Michigan–based BELFOR served as the general contractor for the project. As a worldwide leader in disaster recovery and property restoration, BELFOR was able to assess the damage and create a schedule that would ensure the completion of the job within the time frame needed by the school system. Longtime customer Louisville, Kentucky–based Stanley Schultze & Co., Inc. served as the project’s glazing contractor and window installer, and BHDP Architecture in Cincinnati, Ohio spearheaded the design of the Henryville Schools’ rebuild.
The tornado that hit the town of Henryville was part of a line of tornadoes that swept through the midwestern and southern United States. Southern Indiana was among the most devastated areas. But, on August 7, just five months after the tornado, Henryville students returned to a newly reconstructed facility. Response from students, faculty, parents and the Henryville community was overwhelmingly positive. The design of the new schools was very similar to the previous facilities, so students were able to return to school on time and be in a space that was both new and completely familiar.
The original buildings used entrances and windows from Kawneer, and after assessing the damage post-tornado, the architect and owner decided to use products from the company again for the rebuild. According to Alan Gates, project manager with Stanley Schultze & Co., Inc., the original doors and windows held up well against the tornado. He noted, “Of all the window and door units throughout the buildings, only one complete window unit was lost in the tornado, which really demonstrates the strength and durability of the units and is one of the reasons the school system wanted to rebuild using products from the same trusted brands.”
- One of the biggest challenges was manufacturing the products with enough time to get products shipped and installed.
- The project teams discovered additional doors that needed replacing after the initial order had been placed.
- During reconstruction, every exterior entrance was replaced, along with several interior doors.
- Using 350 Medium Stile Entrances provided extra strength for this high use school application. The 3-14" thermal windows offered clean aesthetics, durability and integrated thermal performance.
- High-performance insulating glass with Heat Mirror® Suspended Coated Film Technology from Southwall Insulating Glass was used throughout the building to achieve high thermal performance, maximize occupant comfort, control UV radiation and help with noise control.
- Meeting the deadline required extended workdays and larger installation crews as well as fast work on everybody’s part, including Kawneer, which had to manufacture products in a compressed timeframe.
ARCHITECT: BHDP Architecture, Cincinnati, Ohio
GLAZING CONTRACTOR / WINDOW INSTALLER: Stanley Schultze & Co., Inc., Louisville, Kentucky
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: BELFOR, Birmingham, Michigan
Photography: ©Viken Djaferian/FotoGraphix
Henryville Schools [578 KB]