Morrill Hall is currently undergoing a roof replacement that began in mid-June and is slated to be completed by December. The 2-million-dollar construction project will primarily improve the drainage system of the 150-year-old building, according to Andrew Magre, associate vice president of engineering and project management.
The roof replacement will help prevent water leakage down from the roof to the ground-level road, according to Henry W. Crans, Jr., the facility director and College of Arts and Sciences representative on the project.
The budget for the construction — which is $2,175,000 — will go toward “modified bitumen and slate shingles at the lower roofs, liquid resin at the integral gutter, slate shingles at the lower mansard roof, and standing seam metal roof panels at the high mansard roof,” Magre told The Sun.
“Additionally, the dentil molding, frieze board, cornices and ornate dormer woodwork assemblies will be refurbished where they’ve been negatively impacted by 150 years of exposure to our climate,” Magre said.
Morrill Hall, built in 1868 as the first building on the Arts Quad according to the City of Ithaca, was designated as a national historic landmark in 1965, making it crucial for the construction to be “respectful of Morrill Hall’s architectural significance in preserving the original architecture,” according to Magre.
Magre explained that a new standing seam metal roof assembly at the upper mansard roof will replace the current non-historic asphaltic material to help the building resemble what it looked like in the 19th century.
“The restoration of the scrolled window blocks and casings at the base of the windows and the keystones atop each dormer assembly will have been designed to mimic historic photographs,” Magre said.
No linguistics professor working in Morrill Hall has reported being disturbed by the ongoing construction, according to Michael Weiss, chair of the department of linguistics, which is located on the second floor and basement.
The construction is run by the Facilities and Campus Services with Patrick Conrad serving as project manager. The Elmira-based Charles F. Evans Company is the general contractor. Bell & Spina Architects from Syracuse also respectfully took into account Morrill Hall’s historical significance when they created the construction documents for the project, according to Magre.
Moving forward, Magre said that rainy weather might slow down the construction, which they hope “is now behind us.”