Belmont College

Belmont College Building Preservation/ Restoration Program Presents at Appalachia Heritage Luncheon

Professor Dave Mertz.
Professor Dave Mertz

St. Clairsville, OH (October 1, 2013) - Belmont College’s Building Preservation/Restoration (BPR) program was one of ten programs selected to present at the 2nd Annual Appalachia Heritage Luncheon held at the Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio on September 18.

The purpose of the luncheon was to introduce successful projects to Ohio legislators and to illustrate to them how cultural programs are having a positive impact on the Appalachia economy. Heritage Ohio co-hosted the event along with Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area.

Mr. Dave Mertz, BPR Program Chair, presented on behalf of Belmont College. His presentation focused on the BPR program’s efforts to help preserve the local communities that Belmont College serves and drew rave reviews from the audience regarding the program’s success and innovation.

The Appalachia Heritage Luncheon was conceived and developed by Senator Tim Schaffer (District 31), Jason Wilson, Director of the Governor’s Office of Appalachia, and Joyce Barrett of Heritage Ohio, the state-wide, preservation, non-profit organization.

Mertz has served as the Director of the BPR program since the program's inception in 1989. He is a graduate of Kansas State University with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in architecture, as well as a certificate in Regional & Community Planning.

Mertz, who lectures frequently on technical aspects of historic preservation and community revitalization, has served as Chair of the National Council for Preservation Education and as a board member and vice-president of both Heritage Ohio and the Ohio Preservation Alliance, Ohio’s two state-wide preservation non-profits. He has also served on the advisory board of the Preservation Leadership Institute of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the editorial board of Preservation Forum, the nation’s scholarly journal on Historic Preservation; he has also authored numerous articles in national publications relating to trades education.

About the Building Preservation/Restoration Program (BPR)

The BPR program at Belmont College is seen as a national model for trades-based technical education in historic preservation and has served as a national model for traditional trades education. Classroom education provides a foundation in theory and history that is supplemented by an in-depth technical analysis of why buildings and materials fail, and explores traditional and newer approaches used to stabilize them. Techniques learned in the classroom are then put to the test in the department’s preservation workshops, at the College owned Field Lab house, and on community based projects throughout the Ohio Valley.

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