The 27-year-old roof at Reavis Hall will undergo a complete replacement as construction begins Friday, Sept. 28.
The roof, originally installed in 1985 with an expected life span of around 20 years, is approximately 18,400 square feet and consists of a single-ply, EPDM-ballasted rubber membrane.
According to the university’s Division of Finance and Facilities, roof replacement originally was scheduled for 2011. However, several unforeseen issues in the normal State of Illinois procurement and bidding process delayed the replacement work until 2013.
The extremely hot, dry summer caused a greater-than-normal deterioration of the existing roof, allowing leaking which caused some minor damage to interior ceilings, walls and floors. During a recent rain storm, a failure over an exit stairwell caused a hazard and was closed temporarily.
“To ensure the safety and welfare of students, faculty and staff, and to minimize further damage that could occur during the upcoming winter months, the university decided to replace the roof at this time,” said Jeffrey Daurer, assistant vice president.
The project is expected to take approximately 60 days, according to information received by the division from roofing replacement contractors. Provost Ray Alden and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences assisted with a coordinated effort to minimize class disruption for students and faculty.
“It’s a win-win,” said Lesley Rigg, associate dean for research and graduate affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “The building needs a new roof, and there will be minimal impact on students and faculty during the repairs. The faculty and staff are looking forward to having a new roof and an environment that is more conducive to learning.”
The contractor will schedule disruptive and noisy work during “off hours” during the replacement period, and departments have made arrangements for some classes to be temporarily relocated during the construction.
“The reaction from the faculty is, ‘Yippee! We’re getting a new roof,’ ” Rigg said. “We’ve wanted this for a long time, and the feedback I’m getting from the English Department is that they’re ecstatic.”
Deferred maintenance and renovation of campus buildings has been a priority by the university as it improves its infrastructure and living-learning environment.
One of the major goals of NIU’s Vision 2020 Initiative is to beautify campus, improve safety and address a backlog of important deferred maintenance projects. This past summer, improvement projects included sidewalk repair and replacement, installation of new walkways, upgrades to lighting in public areas, new benches and trash cans, building exterior washing and improvements to various parking lots.
Major upgrades to the badly outdated electrical system on the east side of campus were also completed.