By NECIA P. SEAMONS
Citizen staff writer
Crews from Kepco and State Stone were at the Oneida Stake Academy last Friday preparing to install a stone gable to replace the original that fell off the building in 1962.
According to Keith Mackay, owner of State Stone, the process being used to restore the gable is the same process used in the construction of the current Nauvoo Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to repair the Utah State Capitol building.
Over the last six months, craftsmen of State Stone have carved individual rocks for the gable by following historic photos of the academy and using a few of the original stones salvaged from the earthquake by the late Newell and Ruth Hart as guides. Kepco engineers have designed a steel frame into which each numbered stone is being placed. This rock-filled frame will be lifted into place and a final application of historic mortar will be applied between the rock, said Mackay.
Before the frame can be lifted into place, Kepco crews are reinforcing the interior of the gable to receive the frame, and State Stone will replace the cracked rock blocks just beneath the gable, said Mackay. To see more on the process being utilized to restore the gable, go to www.kepcoplus.com and click on the “portfolio” link.
Once the gable is in place, roofing, which began last fall, will be completed, said OSAF board member, Ed Moser. The restored gable will feature an ornament that hasn’t been seen on the academy for generations. Carved stars once crowned each of the gables, and the installation of this newly restored gable includes a star for the front of the building.
“We are so very excited to see this part of the building put into place,” said Moser.
The improvements made to the academy’s restoration this year have been funded by gifts from the family of an anonymous alumni, the Murdock Charitable Trust, the Idaho Transportation Department’s Scenic Byways Program, Jim Gilmur, Nathan S. Hale and dozens of individual donors this year, said Elliott Larsen, executive director of the OSAF.
With this step completed, restoration efforts will turn back to the inside of the building, where walls and floors will be reinforced to stand another century of service.
Fundraising efforts are in full swing in order to help the OSAF complete the restoration project by the summer of 2013 in honor of the 100th birthday of Franklin County, said fund-raising chair, Saundra Hubbard.
All donations to the restoration of the Oneida Stake Academy building are tax-deductible, as the foundation is registered with the IRS as a non-profit entity. To help with the academy’s restoration as a community center and museum of local history, contributions can be sent to the OSAF at P.O. Box 555, Preston, Idaho, 83263, or by making a contribution online at www.oneidastakeacademy.org
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