Outstanding Natural Slate Material
Uncompromising Quality

2009 Gold Circle Award – Vassar College Main Building North & South Tower Restoration – Poghkeepsie , NY

Going For The Gold

NRCA members receive Gold Circle Awards for outstanding roofing projects

By Ashley St. John

Gold Circle Award category: Outstanding workmanship—steep slope Recipient: Hayden Building Maintenance Corp., West Nyack, N.Y. Project: Vassar College Main Building north and south tower restorations, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Roof system type: Slate

Vassar College was founded in 1861 as one of the U.S.’ first womens colleges. It became coeducational in 1969 and is ranked No. 11 among liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report.

Vassar College’s Second Empire-style Main Building, the second building constructed on Vassar College’s campus, was built in 1861. It housed the entire college, including dormitories, libraries, classrooms and dining halls. The building’s first and second floors now house campus administrative offices, and the third, fourth and fifth floors house student rooms.

Vassar College’s Main Building was named a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

In 2008, the college decided to replace the building’s deteriorating copper and slate roof system. Hayden Building Maintenance learned about the needed restorations through Vassar College, for whom Hayden Building Maintenance had previously performed work.

“We were asked to remove the old slate and copper and install new copper and slate to match,” says Kevin McLaughlin, president of Hayden Building Maintenance’s slate and copper division. Roofing work at Vassar College began in May 2008.

Historic Restorations

Hayden Building Maintenance reroofed the Main Building’s low-slope areas, but special attention was paid to reroofing the building’s north and south towers.

“The towers’ existing roof systems consisted of a wood deck, North Country Slate shingles with hand-cut green bands and 20-ounce built-in copper gutters,” McLaughlin says. “The roof systems also featured 20-ounce copper dormer tops and flashing interwoven copper caps at hips, as well as iron balustrade.”

First, Hayden Building Maintenance carefully removed the iron balustrade. The salvaged pieces would later be prepped, primed, painted and reinstalled. Next, all slate was removed down to the wood. Dormers, the metal skirt and the copper-lined gutter also were removed.

All rotted wood from the deck was removed and replaced with new wood. Hayden Building Maintenance then installed new copper drip edge metal with an integral cant at the eave and new North Country Slate shingles.

Existing copper hip flashings and rotted upper wood molding also were replaced. New copper hip flashings were installed to match the originals, interwoven with each slate course.

Finally, Hayden Building Maintenance installed new dormers and replaced the copper gutters.

To protect its eight-member crew, Hayden Building Maintenance installed scaffolding around the towers’ perimeters during roof system repairs.

A Job Well-Done

Hayden Building Maintenance completed work at Vassar College in December 2008. And those involved are pleased with the outcome.

“This project ended with a great result,” says Arthur Fisher, Vassar College’s project manager.

Published in Professional Roofing magazine April 2009.


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