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Flood Restoration

Hope Floats

In July 2022, a record rainfall hit STL. Living in between 2 creeks, flooding was quite common during Duchesne's time. In 2022, the water rose to almost 3' in the buildings. The buildings have not taken on that much water in over 100 years. Follow here as we document the process of the restoration and the continued progress.

January 2023

We are happy to announce that the school house will be open in April.

We are taking rental reservations now. 

There is still a lot to be done between now and April, but we are actively putting everything back together. HVAC work was completed, along with all the plaster work. Next up, painting, new floors, re-staining the staircase, and ordering appliances, tables, chairs, and kitchen supplies. 

We are so excited to be able to open our doors back up and be a part of your celebrations. Stay tuned for more updates. 

December 2022

The Shrine has reached safe levels of humidity after months of drying out. With stable moisture levels, restoration can begin. The first focus of restoration is opening the school house. This rental space brings in a small amount of income and minimal restoration of the four campus buildings. While all the buildings are actively in restoration, the school house's timeline is moving faster.

While insurance is covering flood damage, we are using the fundraising money to add on, supplement, and finish other projects and repairs. Some items on this list include updating the lights in the school house, refinishing the stairs, and carrying the flooring that the insurance is replacing throughout the building.

In the church and convent, plaster work is ending. With that work complete, the next steps will be putting back the original millwork, paint, repairing the floors, and cleaning statues. Donations will go towards restoring St. Valentine. It's time for this infamous wax figure to be cleaned, brushed, and freshened up.

The timeline for the School House to reopen will be in April and the convent, rectory,

and Church to follow in the summer.

October 12, 2022

Update: Kay Bee Electric has started putting new wiring in the school house!

All the electric that was under water in July has been torn out and is now being replaced. This includes adding

outlets throughout the building to get to code and guests will have more access to plug in computers, chargers, etc.

The electricians were all over the building today including crawling under the building. After the school house is

complete, they will move to the convent. Then we can schedule plaster work and paint. We love progress.

mini splits on the church

September 15, 2022

We continue to dry out. One large piece to help us drying out is to get the HVAC back up and running. Thank you to B & B Heating & Cooling Inc for getting new mini-splits installed in the church. This will help get the humidity levels down so restoration can start. This very clever team installed the new equipment ABOVE the water line from the July flooding. It's the first step of many in our restoration. #hopefloats

August 8, 2022

Belfor Restoration has removed the damaged items, put items to restore in a safe place, and now we continue to wait for the drying to be completed. All trim work has been taken out to allow more exposure into the walls to help out with the drying. We now start the process of evaluating our inventory list of restoration and replacement items. We cannot thank Belfour enough with their round the clock work and everyone in the community that has dropped off donations for the Shrine and food for the workers.

The restoration crew continues to take out what cannot be restored. Other items like statues, artifacts, and other objects have been removed for safe-keeping and cleaning. It is important to keep these items in a stable low-humidity environment. The photo on the right is how the altar typically looks. The photo on the left is a photo that was snapped yesterday. Thank you Belfor Property Restoration for all your hard work.

The bare altar after the flood

August 2, 2022

school house flood interior

July 30, 2022

We cannot thank Steve Gehner at Belfor Property Restoration for his round the clock efforts to get everything drying and getting all the demo started. we are so grateful for his all his hard work.

July 29, 2022

We wait. We are working on evaluating projects, making many, many lists, calling for estimates, and thanking everyone for their support while we wait. For repairs and restoration to start in the Shrine, we need the dehumidifiers and fans to do their work first. Once things are dry, we can start scheduling the work. Drying is estimated to be complete in 2 weeks. We will keep giving updates as we make progress. Thank you everyone for your support, what a week!

large blowers drying the church

July 28, 2022

blowers to dry the church

The electricity is still turned off until the wires that were submerged in water can be replaced. Thanks Kay Bee Electric for assessing the damage yesterday. Generators, fans, and dehumidifiers were delivered last night to get the buildings dried out. Once this is complete, the needed repairs will begin and we will all sleep better knowing the artifacts, artwork, and relics housed in the buildings are in a stable and dry environment. We are so happy to report that all of the exterior items (picnic tables, benches, and whisky barrels) that floated away have been recovered. 

July 26, 2022

We were able to get into the buildings around 3pm today. About 3' of water got into the convent, shrine, and rectory. We had about 2' in the school house. Thank you for everyone that stopped by and offered help, especially City of Florissant. We have some damage, but our insurance has already been out. We are going to start scheduling appointments for repairs, clean-up and restoration starting this week. As always, thank you to our community and everyone pitching in. We were able to get the first layer of dirt out of the school house and off the buildings and parking lot.

schoolhouse interior after the flood
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