Unmanned aerial vehicle to be used in survey of Old Main exterior

April 07, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State will kick off a multi-phase exterior maintenance project on its most iconic building, Old Main, with a preliminary survey April 10-11. An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV or “drone”), along with telephoto equipment, will be used to evaluate the outside of Old Main.

Comprised of nationally recognized engineers, architects and material scientists, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates (WJE) has been selected as the lead firm on the project. The WJE team will perform a comprehensive assessment of exterior systems, including existing windows, masonry, metalwork and roofing. During the course of the investigation, interior spaces associated with the exterior systems will also be evaluated.

Bringing their experience on historic structures both nationwide and on campus, including the Washington Monument and Schwab Auditorium, the WJE team will conduct a ground survey on Monday, April 10. The UAV flyover will follow on Tuesday, April 11, focusing on the cupola and other areas difficult to access. The flight has been coordinated with Penn State UAV program managers.

The results of the assessments will be used to plan a multi-phase maintenance project with design work to begin this fall. A more comprehensive survey of Old Main will occur this summer. Maintaining the historic nature of the building, which dates to 1930, is a high priority. Maintenance work is expected to start during the spring 2018 semester.

  • Old Main up close

    Old Main

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 10, 2017