Texas State’s oldest and most iconic building is undergoing a facelift this year to repair decades of wear and tear.
Renovations to Old Main began in late December 2012 and are on schedule to be complete in November. The construction project includes replacement of the entire roof, restoration of mortar on the exterior of the building and regular maintenance work. The entry doors on the east side of the building are being replaced. The projected cost of the project is $1.8 million.
Craig Reynolds, the managing principal from Brown Reynolds Watford Architects, said if the renovations are completed ahead of time, several new projects could be added. Reynolds said extra projects could include restoring the building’s wood windows, working on electrical service and updating the fire protection inside Old Main.
“These extra projects are not in the $1.8 million budget,” Reynolds said. “These are just in the talks for a couple of possible projects if we come in under time and under budget.”
Bill Nance, vice president for Finance and Support Services, said he is satisfied with the restoration’s results so far. Nance said the contractor’s bid was below budget, and he hopes to have the air-conditioning units in Old Main’s attic fixed with the savings.
“It just makes sense to fix the units while the roof is off, but only if it is in our budget,” Nance said. “It’s all about protecting Old Main. We just want to restore this historic building.”
Kym Fox, Journalism and Mass Communication senior lecturer, said there was talk that faculty, staff and students would have to be relocated for the duration of the renovations. Fox is grateful she did not have to move out of Old Main.
“It was a real possibility. We were told that while they re-roof, we would have been located to a different building,” Fox said. “There was talk about the psychology building, but I’m not sure exactly which building it would have been.”
Some faculty, staff and students say they are still experiencing minor inconveniences because of the construction, even though classes were not moved out of Old Main.
Construction workers are renewing the mortar joints of the building through a method called repointing. This method repairs the weathering and decay that causes space in the mortar joints over time.
Charles Kaufman, Journalism and Mass Communication senior lecturer, compared the sound of the repointing process to that of sitting in a dentist’s office.
“Probably the most nauseating noise is the drill that makes you feel as if you’re getting every filling in your mouth refilled,” Kaufman said.
However, Kaufman said the renovations to Old Main are necessary.
“This is an important building to the university, and this work has to get done sometime,” Kaufman said. “It is an inconvenience, but it is necessary.”