Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

GLYNN ACADEMY ANNEX SOAKED; Water Damage Could Foil Restoration after Blaze Inspection Should Determine If Building Is Sound after Friday's Fire

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

GLYNN ACADEMY ANNEX SOAKED; Water Damage Could Foil Restoration after Blaze Inspection Should Determine If Building Is Sound after Friday's Fire

Article excerpt

Byline: TERESA STEPZINSKI

BRUNSWICK -- Extensive water damage could hamper restoration of the Annex at historic Glynn Academy, according to an updated damage assessment given Tuesday to the Glynn County Board of Education.

Al Boudreau, school district facilities director, presented a series of photographs detailing the fire, water and smoke damage resulting from a pre-dawn blaze Friday at the building that served as the high school's freshman center.

Fire investigators haven't issued a ruling on the cause of the blaze but Boudreau said that evidence examined so far indicated it was sparked by a lightning strike.

A structural engineer is scheduled to conduct a detailed inspection of the damaged building by Friday, Boudreau told board members.

The inspection should determine if the 116-year-old two-story pinewood and brick building remains sound. In addition, school officials should find out how much it would cost to restore the building, he said.

"There was not a lot of fire damage but there was a tremendous amount of water damage," Boudreau said.

No injuries were reported as a result of the fire that destroyed the building's roof and gutted its attic.

To save the Annex and prevent the fire from spreading to neighboring school buildings, firefighters had to pump about 4,500 gallons of water per minute onto the blaze.

The building remains water-logged. That could lead to the formation of potentially harmful mold and mildew unless the structure is dried out as quickly as possible, Boudreau said.

"The walls are just full of water. The water built up to about a foot deep on the first floor . . . We'll have some pretty substantial water damage to the floors," he said.

Boudreau said he wants to put up a temporary roof as soon as possible to prevent further damage by rain or high winds.

Meanwhile, some exposed asbestos was found around pipes in a crawl space under the building, Boudreau said.

The material once was widely used as insulation in private and public buildings nationwide. However, it was later banned because exposure to its airborne fibers has been proven to cause a rare form of cancer. …

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