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Columns’ Bases to be Repaired

The $178,000 project will fix cosmetic damage on the Mizzou landmark

June 1st, 2010

Story Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430, BasiC@missouri.edu
Today, construction works will begin cosmetic repairs to the bases of the Columns on the Francis Quadrangle at the University of Missouri.

Workers will begin cosmetic repairs to the bases of the Columns on the Francis Quadrangle at the University of Missouri. The Columns are all that remain of Academic Hall, which was destroyed by a fire in 1892.

COLUMBIA, Mo. ­— Today, construction workers will begin cosmetic repairs to the bases of the Columns on the Francis Quadrangle at the University of Missouri. The sections being repaired are structurally sound and are not part of the original Columns.

“The Columns are one of the university’s and the state’s greatest treasures,” said Gary Ward, associate vice chancellor of Campus Facilities. “External experts completed an analysis and found no problems with the bases, but they did find hairline cracks. While these don’t pose any structural problems, they recommended that we address the cracks before they get worse.”

The current square concrete bases were placed around the Columns to protect the original bases in 1949. The original bases also continue to be structurally sound.

“We’re going to wrap a material made of fiber around the base of the Columns,” said Bob Unrath, assistant director for planning and design. “We’ll cover the material with concrete. Our goal is to protect the existing concrete from further cracking.”

Experts have concluded that the 1892 fire did more damage to the Columns than any natural or manmade elements combined since that event.

The total project cost is $178,371 and is funded by Campus Facilities Maintenance.

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