A massive fertilizer plant explosion and a succession of devastating tornadoes have recently damaged numerous residential, commercial, and public facilities in the Texas communities of West, Granbury, and Cleburne as well as the city of Moore, Oklahoma. Entire neighborhoods including the local public schools have been severely affected, and in many cases totally destroyed. In every area, the issues associated with the rebuilding efforts will present many long term challenges. Demolishing and clearing out the debris, determining where the reconstruction funds will come from, providing new design documents, permitting each new structure, and then completing the construction of new facilities will probably take from 3 to 5 years. A major question then becomes, what do these cities and schools do in the interim?
While there is no perfect solution, school districts that find themselves in this situation typically turn to using commercial modular construction. There are strong reasons for this approach starting with the fact that by using modular buildings, new facilities can be completed in as little as 90-120 days with costs significantly less than site-built structures. And, if the agency works with Ramtech we can also provide at no cost to the school, a project proposal that includes preliminary floor-plans, exterior renderings, and budget estimates. The facilities will also meet all of the local and state building codes and can be designed as either permanent or relocatable structures, with relocatables having both purchase and leasing options. Ramtech’s standard and custom portable classroom facilities can be built to provide anywhere from 2 to 16 classrooms per building. Other modular buildings can also be designed and constructed for use as cafeterias, administration offices, laboratories, and other special use facilities. If the building will have a permanent application, they can be constructed as either a Type 5 combustible or Type 2 non-combustible structure. For either type, using Ramtech’s form of permanent modular construction allows the building to be installed directly onto a concrete slab foundation, exactly like site constructed buildings but faster and at a lower cost.
With the confusion and disruption that frequently follows catastrophic events like these, the use of modular buildings and modular construction are a proven way of meeting many of the inerrant challenges. With over 30 years of experience, Ramtech Building Systems is the most capable commercial modular building company in the Southwest, providing both temporary and permanent school facilities for more than 200 public, private, and charter schools. Our experienced in-house design professionals enable us to provide school districts and municipalities, as well as architects and large contractors with the kind of support necessary to meet these immediate needs.
Gary White is Vice President of Sales & Estimating at Ramtech Building Systems, Inc. He has been in the commercial modular industry for 33 years and is responsible for the management of all sales and estimating efforts across each of Ramtech’s key market segments: Education, Government, Medical, and Commercial.