From the Archives: 'Old Main restoration work scheduled for completion by June 30'
[ Editor's note: At the end of the decade, Western Today is publishing articles from the past 10 years of FAST, the campus faculty/staff newsletter. This is one of those articles. Publication of FAST officially ended in the summer of 2009. It was replaced by Western Today. ]
This article first appeared in FAST on Oct. 10, 2002
Restoration of Western Washington University’s Old Main will begin later this month. The project is made possible by Gov. Gary Locke's March 28 approval of additional capital budget appropriations for preservation, part of a statewide job creation and economic stimulus effort.
Provisions for the funding require that the majority of work be completed by June 30.
Throughout the academic year, all faces of Old Main will undergo brick and mortar repair. Office personnel will be notified when restoration work will directly affect their area.
“We ask for everyone’s patience throughout this project as we are working to do everything possible to lessen the effect on students, faculty and staff, in particular the impact on the instructional activities in the building,” said George Pierce, vice president for Business and Financial Affairs. “Minimizing impact on the students’ residential environment also is a high priority, which is why the work — because of its proximity to Edens Hall — will be completed during daytime hours. Restoration is essential in maintaining the structure of Old Main.
“Because of funding provisions, waiting for much of the work to be completed in the summer, unfortunately, is not a possibility.”
The project involves:
- Removing the English ivy, an invasive species destructive to the bricks and structure. Facilities Management will investigate replacement options for the ivy once restoration is complete.
- Hammering, chiseling, power drilling and grinding for mortar removal, sandstone and arch repair.
- Cleaning exterior windows, and washing and waterproofing the new brick. Scaffolding will be used to access the exterior of most of Old Main. Offices will be notified when windows will be sealed for water and dust protection. A boom truck will be used to complete work on the east side of Old Main near the parking area.
- Closing building entrances and exits temporarily as well as parking spaces behind Old Main will be necessary to protect students, faculty and staff.
General contractor for the project is Crosby Restoration. Estimated construction cost is $700,000.
Erected in 1896, Old Main has never had building-wide brick restoration. Its last major construction project involved earthquake retrofitting the building’s southeast wing in 1999. For more information regarding the restoration, contact project manager Doug MacLean, X/3791, Doug.MacLean@wwu.edu.