Contractors on Wednesday began inspecting the 65-year-old Campanile for weakened pieces of exterior limestone. University Architect Jim Modig, a’73, says masonry specialists were called in when “gravel-sized” pieces of stone were discovered around the base of the 120-foot tower.
“What we wanted to do is get a bucket out there and inspect all the stonework, all the way up and down, just to see what’s going on,” Modig says. “Once they check everything out they’ll come back and tell us what needs to be done.”
Along with removing any obvious loose pieces, the workers are also “sounding” the limestone, listening for hollow spots that can indicate fractures.
“It’s the typical Kansas freeze-thaw weather and its impact on native limestone,” Modig says.
Inspections should last only a day or two. Barring an unexpectedly dire diagnosis, it is anticipated that repairs will be completed well before Commencement on May 15.
“It’s not a major project as we sense it right now,” Modig says. “We refer to it as something like a tune-up.”
KU’s Lawrence campus was shut down for several days because of the winter snowstorm that moved through Kansas.
Thursday’s classes were canceled around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 20, in the middle of the KU vs. Oklahoma State men’s basketball game. Facebook and Twitter exploded with status updates from excited students, and it happened all over again the next day when the decision was made to close campus on Friday also.
Our favorite tweet was this one, which alumni who are not part of the millennial generation can surely appreciate:
When I was in college at #KU, you had to dial 864-SNOW a million times before you found out if classes were cancelled. #getoffmylawn
Wondering how often classes have been canceled for weather-related reasons? According to the Office of Public Affairs, around twenty times since 1972. Click here to see a list of the closures.
Staff photographer Dan Storey ventured onto the snowy campus this weekend to take some pictures around the Campanile, a popular sledding spot. Check out our slideshow below.
Weather reports indicate that more snow is on the way, and Lawrence is under a winter storm warning that starts early Monday morning and ends at noon on Tuesday.
There are several ways to find out if a decision is made to cancel classes again: call 864.SNOW or KU Info at 864.3506 or check online at www.alert.ku.edu. If you’ve signed up for emergency text messaging notification, you’ll receive a text message with the news. If you haven’t signed up for this service, you can do so at www.alert.ku.edu– but be aware, there’s a delay between signing up and receiving notifications.