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University of Windsor

Replacement of roof vents restores Dillon Hall

Facility Services completed a project more than a year in the making this week as two roof vents were replaced atop Dillon Hall. Their return restores the building to its former glory, says project manager Mark Rudkin.~

Two of the four original vent structures were removed in November 2006. The roof vents—or cupolas—are constructed almost entirely of limestone, and are functioning building exhaust vents. The main emphasis in restoration was to maintain the original classic look while incorporating modern building techniques to improve longevity, Rudkin says. He adds that the remaining two original vents will need to be removed and reconstructed in the near future.

Consultant Allan Avis Architect used the original 1927 building drawings to develop the new cut stone drawings. Bartlett Restoration, the general contractor, hired Roman Stone Works of Detroit to fabricate the new limestone.

"Stone carving is virtually a lost art," Rudkin says. "We were fortunate to find a competent firm so close to the campus."

The new construction incorporates limestone, brick, concrete block, stainless steel, copper and lead flashing and lightning suppression. Bartlett Restoration took on the painstaking task of assembly, 60 feet above the ground.

"We are very pleased with the results," says Rudkin.

In 2006, the roof vents were identified as dangerously decomposed (left). New structures were carved over the summer and assembled atop Dillon Hall this fall (centre). A completed vent is pictured at right.

Stone masons with the Detroit-based Roman Stone Works dry-fit the carved limestone.