Ron Booth, director of program management and project execution, said the building is having the exterior replaced.
“When you look at a building and you talk about the brick, the windows and the roof, it’s considered the building envelope, so we’re replacing the whole building envelope on this one,” Booth said. “It’ll tighten it up and we should have no more problems with the water leaking into the building.”
The funds for the project are coming from a Facilities Management deferred maintenance account, which Booth said is a general University fund that is used on an annual basis to repair and upgrade buildings.
“We’ve had continuing problems with water infiltrating into the building whenever we have heavy rain and causing some damage on the interior of the building,” Booth said. “The only way to remedy that was to take the brick off and put a new water gripping member on the base of the building and put new brick on.”
David DiPofi, assistant director of program management and project execution, said the construction is also being done to bring the building up to University standards.
“We are completing this work to bring the building up to current University construction standards, particularly with respect to waterproofing standards,” Dipofi said.
The construction was contracted to B.L. Harbert International, who is also working on several other projects on campus including the South Donahue residence hall and parking facilities.
Any project costing more than $50,000 on campus is bid out publicly with the University choosing the lowest bidder.
Lowder building coordinator Harold Cummings said the water damage was the main reason for construction.
“The construction is going on because water got behind the brick and was intruding the building,” Cummings said. “The weep holes also needed cleaning out, but the water is the bigger reason they are doing it. They had to take the brick down, put a skim coat up and redo some of the things on the building. While they were doing that, the windows had a problem with water coming in as well, and so we took the windows out, put new windows in and re-sealed them.”
The total construction costs are $5.5 million and Cummings said the job should be completed by March of 2013.
“We’ll put new brick back up and while we’re doing it, we’ll bring the building up to standards as far as the way it looks, and it will look like Shelby when it’s finished,” Cummings said. “The new windows will mimic Shelby and the new brick will be a lighter color, which will make the building a lot more attractive.”
Cummings also said the front and west side of the building should be finished by the beginning of football season.