Austin Hall Undergoes Restoration

Today@Sam reports that SHSU’s oldest academic building is being restored – brick by brick:
Austin Hall, the oldest building on the campus of Sam Houston State University, is in the middle of a restoration that includes extensive repairs and a bit of “dressing up,” according to university officials.

The three foundations that have committed to assisting in the funding for the Austin Hall restoration project include Houston Endowment, Inc., The Brown Foundation, Inc., and The Elkins Foundation. Shutter damage and cracks between bricks will be among the things the $2 million restoration project will work to ameliorate. The project is being paid for through donations by three foundations. Estimated to cost $2 million, the project has benefitted from donations from alumni and businesses as well.

SHSU’s Facilities Planning and Construction Office is leading the project which includes everything from floor refinishing to cupola restoration, as well as the installation of new electrical and plumbing systems.

The bricks with names of generations of Sam Houston State students carved into them will not be replaced with new bricks. They will, however, be taken down so that new mortar can be applied. They will then be “re-placed” in their previous location on the exterior of the building, except for those bricks that have deteriorated beyond use, such as some of the ones below the windows.

The restoration project is scheduled to be completed in May 2012.
No word on what they win if they find the cornerstone.

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