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2009 Fall Issue 4 (October 16, 2009)

Skinner Memorial Chapel in the midst of repairs and cleaning

October 16, 2009
By Emily Hartley

Carleton’s Skinner Memorial Chapel will be looking its best in less than a month.

Current work, including the cleaning of the building’s exterior and repairs to leaky roofs and aging brick and stonework, is expected to be finished a few days past the original Nov. 6 deadline due to recent rains, according to Director of Facilities Steven Spehn.

The work is part of a two-phase Chapel maintenance project, with the first phase “mostly addressing the front part of the Chapel and the tower,” Spehn said via e-mail.

“We are feeling quite proud with this opportunity to maintain this gem of a facility in a way it truly deserves,” he said.

Phase I involves the replacing of roofs in the tower and side entries of the building, the reparation of bricks inside the tower, and the reparation of stonework from the lower part of the tower to ground level. The brick and stonework will also be tuck-pointed, a process that involves grinding out and replacing the mortar between bricks or stones.

The upper part of the tower was tuck-pointed several years ago, and Spehn says it “is in good condition.”

Crews are cleaning the exterior of the entire building “so it will have a consistent look and we do not have to pay extra to have them return at a later date,” Spehn said.

“It also helped so we could see the actual color of the mortar joints on the tower, which we wanted to match as close as we could with the current tuck-pointing work,” he added.

Phase II of the project is proposed for next summer and will involve “replacing the large roof and tuck-pointing the exterior walls on the main Chapel building,” as well as re-landscaping around the site.

The project will keep one of the college’s most used and recognizable buildings in shape far into the future.

“The work we are doing now should serve the Chapel and the college well for the next 40 years or more,” Spehn said.

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