Rotunda renovation delayed, trees saved
The University has delayed plans to repair the Rotunda roof until after Final Exercises in spring 2012, Michael Strine, executive vice president and chief operating officer, said in an email yesterday.
The original 12-14 month time frame for the project remains the same, however. The surrounding magnolias would not be cut down, Strine said.
The University said it hoped to complete the construction by Final Exercises in spring 2013, but if the project falls behind schedule then the University might temporarily remove the scaffolding for the ceremony.
"Should weather and conditions indicate work may not complete before Final Exercises 2013, we would proceed with options to ensure that Final Exercises are not impact[ed]," Strine said.
The Board of Visitors approved a tentative plan at the November meeting of the Buildings and Grounds Committee which would have started construction this spring, but University spokesperson Carol Wood said the plans had not been discussed fully.
"The report at the Board was premature to really think through what was and what was not possible when it came to the construction of the Rotunda and the Rotunda roof," Wood said. "The planning team had not yet begun to meet to talk about the details about how we were going to move forward with the restoration of the roof."
The Board also approved plans to construct a tent for the roof during construction, a plan which has also been abandoned. Strine said the roof will instead be temporarily protected by a membrane weather covering.
The team planning the roof's repair includes the designer, the construction manager and representatives from both Facilities Management and the Office of the Architect, Wood said. The team began holding weekly meetings last month to finalize construction plans.
Wood said the outpouring of community support aimed at protecting the magnolias and preserving the aesthetics of Final Exercises helped to influence the team.
The plans are subject to approval by the Buildings and Grounds Committee at its Feb. 22 meeting.
-Compiled by Krista Pedersen