Nicholls Damages

By Tyrese Lee, Podcast Editor

Hurricane Ida damages to Nicholls State University will cost about $15 million to repair. About $1 million of the cost will be out of the university’s pocket as “wind-driven rain through a window” is considered uninsurable damage.

Director of Purchasing, Property Control and Support Services Administration Terry Dupre and President Jay Clune were among some of the first on campus assessing damage after the storm along with Nicholls’ vice president, facilities director, residence hall director, maintenance staff and ground staff.

As Nicholls staff members would assess and identify a damaged building, they would let Dupre know, and then he would let the officer risk management insurance company in Baton Rouge know.

So once that happened, Nicholls contacted the state’s main remediation contractor or company, Continuum.

Continuum went into buildings; if they received water in the building, they extracted the water and put dryers out to prevent further damage from mold, etc. Insurance adjusters began coming down and reviewing every structure individually to assess damages.

“The adjuster would walk to Elkins Hall with a university employee because both parties had to agree to the damage done,” Dupre says.

After damages were assessed, insurance adjusters came up with a list of damages and then assessed a value to that damage per building. After that, Nicholls hired architects to come and review the information from the adjusters.

The architects were not doing anything not damaged by the storm and not considered insured.

“It took a long time, like many months, to get to where the office facility planning control has received auction money bids on the work,” Dupre says. “After the bid the next step was getting draft contracts for contractors to come and do the work.”

“It took a long time, like many months, to get to where the office facility planning control has received auction money bids on the work.”

— Terry Dupre, university administration

Nicholls will have to pay for some campus damages that are estimated to be about $1 million. Then when Nicholls pays for that work, they turn it over to another company called Inner City Fund (ICF), which will file Nicholls payments with FEMA.

FEMA is then going to reimburse Nicholls 90 percent of its costs.

“Due to current market conditions, it takes a very long time to get parts and materials to make repairs,” Dupre says.

Michael Martin, an associate professor of English, had damage to his Peltier Hall office from the hurricane. And today, Martin’s office is still in the same condition as Hurricane Ida left it.

“My laptop on my desk was not broken so I feel like I escaped, and I would like my office to be repaired since not any work has been done since the hurricane,” Martin says.

The Office of Facility Planning and Control is in the process of executing contracts with the contractors.

Danielle Breaux, director of facility services and project manager, reported damages still needing repairs are the roof, ceilings, walls, flooring replacement, and mechanical equipment repairs/replacement for the resident halls, apartments, Ellender library, and classroom buildings.

“You have to take into account rainy days and delays in materials deliveries which may delay completion time,” Breaux says.

To help while waiting on repairs, the university has made temporary accommodations, like renting a temporary air conditioning unit for the cafeteria, Breaux says.

“All accommodations that can be made for students, faculty, and staff, are being made.”