2011 BPR Community Projects
Posted Monday, October 10, 2011
Belmont College Building Preservation/Restoration Students Complete Community Projects
St. Clairsville, OH (October 5, 2011) - Students from the Building Preservation/Restoration
(BPR) Program at Belmont College recently completed a number of summer community
service projects as part of their studies.
The first of the projects was completed at the Great Western Schoolhouse in St.
Clairsville. Belmont BPR students worked carefully to restore the Great Western
Schoolhouse’s teacher’s kit, which is dated from 1882. In the late 1800’s,
teachers who didn’t have a school building used “teacher kits”
to instruct their students. The pages of the Great Western Schoolhouse kit
were removed in order to be photocopied; the students then worked to repair the
kit’s wooden hangers and carefully removed paint that had been dripped on
the case. Finally, they cleaned the case and rubbed in a finish to protect
the wood; the pages were then reinstalled to complete the restoration.
Another project that the students worked to restore was a historic outhouse located
next to the United Methodist Church in Deersville, OH. While no longer in use, the
four-seat outhouse represents a period of history that Deersville preservationists
are working to maintain.
“The historic outhouse project was an ideal size and fit for our summer work
schedule,” said Dave Mertz, Belmont Building Preservation/Restoration Program
Coordinator. “The scope of work for this project included reproducing
and installing a number of wooden, cove, shiplap siding; clapboards that were missing
or too deteriorated to salvage; restoring the two windows; scraping the siding;
and repainting the structure.”
BPR students made an initial visit to the site to remove what remained of the outhouse
windows and to take a section of the siding back to the College in order to replicate
it. The students also completed minor repairs to the church’s entry porch
and an octagonal stained glass window.
Additionally, BPR students worked at the former Thoburn United Methodist Church,
which is now the Belmont County Senior Center in St. Clairsville. The students
removed three basement windows, stripped layers of old paint, repainted, and re-glazed
them. They repaired deteriorated wood and broken glass as part of the project, and
once completed, the students stripped and repainted the window frames and the window
Participating in the summer projects were BPR students: Matt Jozwiak of Flushing,
OH; Cori McMillian of St. Clairsville, OH; Tonya Ruble of Bridgeport, OH; Carl Smith
of Toronto, OH; Brian Wilson of Wheeling, WV; and Stephanie Wright of Belmont, OH.
Students enrolled in the BPR program at Belmont have countless chances to assist
local communities in restoration projects. “There are certain stipulations
that need to bet met when selecting a restoration project. We only work on sites
that are government or non-profit owned. Typically, we do not work on private residences
or private commercial structures. Also, the scope of the project has to be small
enough to allow us to complete the work within the scheduled class time,”
Each year, the Program tries to participate in a national restoration project as
well. Some previous national projects completed by Belmont students include work
on the Octagon House in Washington, D.C., Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater in Bear
Run, PA, and in the summer of 2009 restoration to the spring house at Stratford
Hall in Westmoreland County, VA. Stratford Hall was home to the Lee family which
included two signers of the Declaration of Independence and the birthplace of Robert
Even in these tough economic times, graduates of the Belmont BPR program have continued
on to find success in the marketplace. The Belmont College BPR program’s emphasis
on “hands-on” learning has established its curriculum as a national
model for traditional trade’s education.
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