By Jonathan Smith, Managing Editor
The Biblical Studies Building and the Tower of Light received some of the most noticeable maintenance over the summer with a cleaning to remove mildew and stains, as well as other exterior enhancements.
The grout and caulk between each stone of the buildings were replaced because the old grout was failing, allowing water to leak into the building, said Kevin Watson, chief administrative services officer.
Once the building was cleaned, a new sealant was applied to prevent the growth of mildew, a problem the buildings have had since they were built.
“We believe the initial application of sealer was not applied as it should have been,” Watson said in an e-mail. “We have applied this sealer in two coats in two directions, and so we are hopeful that this is a better application and will last longer.”
This is the first time that this type of work has been done on the buildings since they opened in 1989, and Watson said he estimates this will last 15 to 20 years.
Several companies were hired for different portions of the job. The total project cost is about $430,000.
“A good portion of it came from donors who want to help with the project,” Watson said, “and part of it came from our deferred maintenance money we set aside each year to take care of things like this.”
While other companies were hired to do the work, Physical Resources’ Eddie McFadden took bids from contractors and oversaw the project.
Work is still being done on the buildings, but Watson said late September is the estimated completion date.
That could be pushed back due to such problems as bad weather or other delays.
Even though work will continue as classes begin, the building’s availability will not be affected, Watson said.
“The building is still available for all functions,” he said. “The only real effect to the building is the entrances and exits under the scaffolding can now only be used for emergencies. The other issue is the aesthetics of the building while the scaffolding is up.”
While the job has gone mostly as planned, a few problems arose when workers were able to inspect the building more closely.
“Projects of this size always have some issues,” Watson said. “We found some broken stone once we got up there. We did not know it was broken until we were able to get next to the building and inspect it. We were not able to get the windows in as we wanted, and so that has delayed the project some.”