Making progress at Ross Hall

Crews clean walls and above the ceiling line on first floor Ross

A Servicemaster team scrubs soot-covered walls and vacuums HVAC space above the ceiling line Wednesday morning on first floor Ross Hall. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Cleaning to remove soot from nearly all surfaces in Ross Hall continues following the Feb. 22 morning fire in a first-floor custodial closet. It's a process that is expected to take disaster recovery teams from Servicemaster at least six more weeks.

First floor sustained the heaviest damage. For example, while ceiling tiles will be replaced on all floors, the ceiling grid and corridor lights also have been removed and will be replaced on first floor.

Restoring Ross Hall will include cleaning the ductwork and "scrubbing" the air for soot particles. Filters are changed twice a day on equipment tasked with the latter. A control panel for the building's fire alarm system was damaged in the fire, so the system must be replaced. Crews from West Des Moines-based Certified Restoration Drycleaning Network are cleaning all electronics and Wi-Fi hotspot devices. That process will take an estimated 45 days. 

Spring and summer classes scheduled for Ross Hall were moved to other locations, and the goal is to have the building fully functional in August for the start of fall semester.


First floor Ross Hall soot damage

Smoke and soot damaged every surface on first floor Ross Hall last week. Photo courtesy of facilities services.