By Henry Fisher | September 20, 2021
Starting this summer, the university’s Academic Podium has seen construction crews upon lifts repairing elements among the Podium’s 1,248 pillars.
The current work on the Academic Podium is the first phase of concrete restoration for the over 50-year-old structure, as stated by Jordan Carleo-Evangelist, the university spokesperson, in collaboration with the Office of Architecture, Engineering and Construction Management. According to Carleo-Evangelist, the project, as planned, will span from the summer of 2021 to 2023.
“The short answer is that this is part of a multiphase project to restore the look of the concrete architecture throughout our campus consistent with the original designs of Edward Durell Stone, the famous architect who designed it,” said Carleo-Evangelist.
Among Edward Durell Stone’s famous works is the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington D.C.
When asked about the price tag for the renovation, Carleo-Evangelist reported that the first phase has been budgeted for $1.5 million.
As planned, the three phases of the project will move between various sectors of the Academic Podium. Progress has already started near the Chemistry and Physics buildings, with the Campus Center (2022), Taconic (2023), and Humanities (2023) buildings up next.
“The scope includes the cleaning and repair of cracks in the concrete columns, canopies and building pilasters and precast panels.” Carleo-Evangelist disclosed, adding that, “...the uneven wearing of the concrete surfaces is being skillfully restored to showcase a natural white concrete as originally designed. The contractor will be accessing these surfaces with various lifts and will be protecting the windows and frames while applying protective coatings. Construction joints are also being addressed.”
Students may not be seeing the construction for too much longer, at least in this semester. As of September 2021, “The contractor has completed all of the joint removals and in the process of applying the patching and finishing materials. Work will conclude within approximately one month, as colder temperatures make this type of work difficult.” said Carleo-Evangelist.
Though a project such as this may take time, as Carleo-Evangelist put it, “If you want to get a sense for what this will look like before and after, check out the quads.”
Indigenous and State quads do offer concrete evidence in this regard, with previous renovations having renovated the stonework.