Despite extensive water damage to the roof of Irvine Auditorium, maintenance workers and officials said yesterday that the 62-year-old auditorium does not require major structural work. A chunk of the auditorium's tile ceiling fell into the orchestra pit last week, forcing relocation of this week's Rosh Hashana services. Contractors were called in to repair the roof in time for the Dalai Lama's speech for the 250th anniversary celebrations, and officials said there will be no risk of other tiles falling during the speech by Tibet's spiritual leader. Maintenance officials and workers said Irvine is in stable condition and is doing well for a building its age. Carl Kunz, a stone mason for Lorenzon Brothers Contracting, the company hired by the University to repair the ceiling, said his crew is removing 42 sections of multi-colored tiling from the ceiling. The spaces left by the tiles will then painted over, Kunz said. The contractors must climb 90 feet of scaffolding and stand on large wooden planks to remove the tiles, which have been in the 1500-person capacity auditorium since it was built. But University officials said the building has had several problems throughout its history. According to Robert McKain, Physical Plant's director of contract maintenance, Irvines roof has suffered from several problems. McKain explained that the flat roof surfaces of Irvine often leak rain water. Moisture then builds up under the tiling, which causes them to loosen and fall. McKain added that workers are currently repairing the flat roof surfaces in addition to the tiles. Kunz said that in addition to the roof leak, the building constantly needs maintenance. He said workers recently replastered and painted parts of Irvine's basement. But Kunz said despite these difficulties, the main structure of Irvine, which was constructed in 1928, is still sound. "[Irvine] is old, but it is put together well," said Kunz. "They don't make them like this today." Other older University landmarks, such as College Hall and Logan Hall, are undergoing renovation, and McKain said he hoped the University would plan to renovate Irvine as well. "Irvine is a beautiful building, particularly on the inside, and I'd like to see it done," McKain said. Student Life Director Francine Walker said that there are no plans for renovation of Irvine, due to a lack of available funds.Comments powered by Disqus
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