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SU wins preservation award for McMurran

By Staff | Oct 9, 2009

McMurran Hall

At the Historic Shepherdstown Annual Membership meeting on Sept. 16, 2009, Shepherd University was awarded a Preservation Award for the restoration and renovation of the Reynolds Hall.

In 2005, a rather routine repainting of the wood and window seals of McMurran Hall was undertaken. While this project was under way, a significant bulge in the back wall of Reynolds Hall was detected. This bulge was a major structural defect and needed to be addressed. Restoration of the bulging north wall of the building was started in 2006.

In order to rebuild the wall, a frame support for the roof had to be constructed so the entire foundation of the north wall and part of the east wall of the building could be torn out. Once the foundation was out, approximately 60 pilings, measuring 4 inches and 6 inches in diameter, were drilled approximately 30 feet deep in the existing foundation. The pilings were then filled with concrete and the new foundation was poured on top of that. It was a challenge for the new construction to match what was being suspended.

The construction of the foundation and the new wall took approximately 6 months and with all the brick on the north wall having to be removed. The handmade brick on Reynolds is a unique size and composition, requiring Gruber Latimer to find similar bricks for the replacement, which they were able to do.

About half the wooden shutters on McMurran and Reynolds had to be replaced. Some were sent to a location in Pennsylvania where they were restored.

Reynolds Hall was 120 years old at the time of the renovations. What began as a repainting project developed into a 9-month renovation and restoration project. Most of the work was overseen and carried out by BFM Structural Engineers from Baltimore, Md.

Structural repairs to the buildings cost approximately $1.5 million. Painting and other cosmetic updates cost another $1.5 million.

Dan Yanna, Director of Facilities, Shepherd University, oversaw and coordinated the entire project for Shepherd University. Following the renovation and restoration, the painting of McMurran and Reynolds Hall was begun and completed in 2007. Ed McGee, VP of Administration and Finance accepted the award for Shepherd.