Belmont College

Belmont College Professor Elected to
National Board

Building Preservation/Restoration Professor/Program Chair Dave Mertz elected to the Preservation Trades Network Board. Professor/Program Chair Dave Mertz (left) and Instructor Cathie Senter (right)

St. Clairsville, OH (March 8, 2013) - Belmont College is pleased to announce that Professor Dave Mertz, Building Preservation/Restoration (BPR) Program Chair, has been elected to the Preservation Trades Network (PTN) Board.

PTN is a non-profit membership organization founded to provide education, networking and outreach for the traditional building trades. PTN works with North American and international partners to provide educational resources, events and workshops that build opportunities for collaboration, and exchange of skills and knowledge. According to their website, PTN was established on the principle that conservation of the built environment is fundamentally dependent on the work of skilled people in all of the traditional building trades who preserve, maintain and restore historic buildings, and build architectural heritage for the future.

“The opportunity to serve on the PTN Board is an honor,” said Mertz. “PTN is committed to acknowledging the masters of the trades, and creating opportunities for the next generation of tradespeople. I am so pleased to be part of the work they do and their commitment to existing trades education programs.”

Mr. Mertz serves as the Director of the BPR program at Belmont College, a post he has held 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. He currently serves as architectural consultant to the St. Clairsville Board of Architectural Review and lectures frequently on technical aspects of historic preservation and community revitalization.

Mertz 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.

Additionally, Belmont College BPR instructor Cathie Senter has accepted a local committee position with the West Virginia ON TRAC (Organization, Training, Revitalization and Capacity) program on the Main Street Design in Wheeling.

Senter earned an Associate degree in Building Preservation and Restoration Technology from Belmont College and is currently working to complete a Bachelor’s degree in architecture from Ball State University. She is a “hands-on” preservationist with over twenty-four years of experience in the historic architecture field with a concentration in historic material conservation. Many of Senter’s building projects have received recognition and she has won the Historic Preservation Excellence Award from the American Institute of Architects.

The West Virginia ON TRAC program was created to assist West Virginia communities in their efforts to boost economic and community growth. The goals of the program are to evaluate, educate and assist communities in these efforts and to prepare them for more advanced technical services through the Main Street program.

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.

For more information about the Belmont College BPR program, please contact Dave Mertz at or 740.699.3939.

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