Campus Progress: Old Main

Leaving Old Main
Construction crews working on the renovation of Old Main, which began in February 2005, discovered a cistern under the basement floor in March. Physical Plant Director Warren Wunderlich wasn’t surprised, since the building originally included a kitchen and dining rooms for the students and staff when it was completed in 1876.  But Wunderlich has been intrigued by the evidence of layers upon layers of remodeling done over the years, including an old stairwell in the middle of the building and what appeared to be an attempt to raise the third-floor ceiling.

The Old Main project, which includes the installation of an elevator in the northwest corner of the building, is scheduled to be completed in fall 2005. At that time, the classics, philosophy, political science, and religion departments will move back in.

When asked if there were any special processes for remodeling a historic building, Krause Anderson Project Foreman Chuck Lentz equated it to heart surgery.  He said, "Like a heart surgeon, we want to leave Old Main better than it was before."

Some “surprises” that have popped up during the renovation process have been rediscovering the box where the rope that rang the clock tower bell once hung, the arched doorways in the hallways on the second and third floors, and two large cisterns underground in the basement.

Interior ConstructionOld Main photoOld Main photoOld Main photoOld Main photo

Exterior ConstructionOld Main photoOld Main photoOld Main photoOld Main photo