Old Main east staircase, roof shingles to be repaired

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Old Main’s exterior east staircase and select portions of the slate roof will undergo repair work tentatively beginning on Monday, Oct. 9. The work will require closure of the upper and lower entrances of the staircase for the duration of the project, as well as periodic sidewalk closures. Both projects are expected to be completed by spring.

Historic preservation is of utmost importance with any project involving Old Main. The staircase repair work will require complete deconstruction with stones mapped and labeled to ensure they are reassembled in the same pattern. Hidden improvements, such as improved drainage and waterproofing, are also part of the project, as well as a refurbishment of the handrails. At times the site will be enclosed due to temperature requirements for masonry work.

Targeted slate shingle repair work will be executed using lifts at various locations around Old Main. Advanced notice will be posted when the work will impact sidewalk use and pedestrians. In addition, the ground-level roof of the mechanical room on the northwest side of the building will be completely replaced, but the work will be limited to the weekends of Oct. 7-8 and Oct. 14-15.

The work comes as an immediate result of exterior survey work performed by Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates (WJE) in April and June. The firm was hired to perform a comprehensive assessment of exterior systems of Old Main, Penn State’s most iconic building, for a multi-phase maintenance project.

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Last Updated October 04, 2017