Under the Raider Dome: Deconstruction required detailed plans
by DELANEY WALKER Banner Staff Writer
Jun 18, 2014 | 1063 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dome Update
PROJECT MANAGER Hal Taylor points out where sledgehammers were used to remove concrete stalls and walls in the girls’ general locker room below the gymnasium lobby and the Betsy Vines Theater.
Banner photo, DELANEY WALKER
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The recent deconstruction of the Cleveland High School Raider Dome was a result of the extensive work completed within the building since school let out in May.

J&J Construction was awarded the phase one deconstruction bid. The company is working alongside a set of contractors.

“It is time consuming,” project manager Hal Taylor said. “It takes longer than what most folks realize to prep the building.”

He listed actions taken by the construction crew and contractors before any progress became visible to outsiders.

Cleveland Utilities moved the water lines before school was released for summer. A plumber began moving and rearranging lines inside the building a week after Memorial Day. The boiler system was disconnected and moved to Yates Primary.

According to Taylor, the water line formerly went through the front of the dome. Now the system’s base is set up in the showers of the old girls’ basketball locker room. Strainers, pressure release valves and back-flow valves were purchased to meet the required code.

A portion of the old cast-iron drains was found to be rotted. The pieces in the girls’ general locker room were dug up. Some of the pieces have been removed. Others were replaced.

Added Taylor, “[The contractor] had a hard time getting parts in on some of them. They are industrial fittings, so it cannot be picked up locally. They have to generally order the pieces.”

A majority of the work under the gym lobby and Betsy Vines Theater has been completed manually. Workers completely removed the concrete stalls and walls in the girls’ general locker room. Workers then moved the wreckage out of the area and up the stairs.

A plastic sheet separates the portion of the basement below the gymnasium floor from the space beneath the lobby and little theater. Taylor detailed the shoring completed on the opposite side of the plastic sheet. He said the process took weeks.

The shoring will reinforce the portion of the basement wall which will remain standing to protect the building from the elements.

“They had to dig the concrete out of the floor and go down three feet into the ground,” he said. “Everything has been done pretty much by hand.”

Other undertakings completed in the project include:

- a new sprinkler system;

- removal of the fire alarm system;

- The air-conditioning system was cut off from the gymnasium. Taylor said this project took an entire day. A company out of Nashville used liquid nitrogen to freeze a small section of the pipes to create an ice plug. The plug held the water back while the other side was cut off from the gymnasium. A worker then welded the end of the pipe.

Taylor said the daylong process saved the school a lot of money.

“The water is filled with chemical,” he said. “If we drained all the water off, then we have to install new chemical and that is thousands of dollars in chemical.” 

J&J Construction and contractor work should be mostly completed by late July, representatives said.