Back to the Future: Rounds Hall Roof Project

September 6th, 2008 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, N.H.-137 years ago when Rounds Hall first opened, it was one of the states’ most impressive educational buildings, and as was the custom then, it was topped with an impressive slate roof with copper flashing.

Now the slate roof is coming back, thanks to a $300,000 roof replacement project that is scheduled to be wrapped up within the next month.

Jim Bowers, the project manager for Melanson Roofing, said the old asphalt roof was removed last month and his crew is making good progress on putting down the slate and copper replacement.

“Some of the roof was in rough shape, but we’re planning on finishing by early October,” said Bowers.

Each piece of slate is 10 by 20 inches, and is quarried in Poultney, Vt.
Why slate? Ellen Shippee, PSU’s director of Facilities Services, said, “It’s a signature building for the University, it was slate when it was first constructed, the price was right, we had the support of President Steen and the Vice President for Finance, Bill Crangle, and the contractor has done a wonderful job,” Shippee said.

Because the iconic building, home to the famous PSU clock tower, is a landmark for the community, the project has drawn a lot of attention and Shippee said the response has been overwhelmingly supportive.

“I have received a lot of positive comments from both the University and townspeople about the job.”

According to Shippee, the slate going back on Rounds will be there for several generations.

“The slate roof will last 75-100 years,” Shippee said.

Although faculty, staff and students can access the building, the perimeter surrounding Rounds has been barricaded so pedestrians can’t get close to the work site. Bowers said people should take the ‘do not enter’ signs seriously.

“We’ve been having a hard time keeping people out, but slate breaks easily and some pieces can drop down to the ground, so it’s important that everyone stays clear of the work area,” Bowers said.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or Bruce Lyndes

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