Lampton renovations shift to historic building’s interior

Published 5:00 am Monday, October 29, 2007

Following some exterior renovations, Lampton Auditorium loomsmore majestically on the corner of Jackson and Cherokee streets.But work is continuing inside the historic structure.

Work began on the Mississippi School of the Arts project inearly August and is expected to be completed by the end ofDecember, said Richard Carraway, the school’s maintenancedirector.

The approximately $270,000 project repairs the exteriorbrickwork and interior plaster walls, properly seals the structureand paints damaged interior walls and the entire exterior of theauditorium. The exterior painting of other historic structures onthe campus is also included, Carraway said.

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Much of the exterior work is already complete, he said, and”they’ve made some pretty substantial repairs to the interior.”

School officials were spurred to action after discoveringmoisture migration from the exterior to interior walls. Carrawaysaid the migration was caused by water seeping into the oldbrickwork and passing through them to interior bricks.

Mike Ingram, project manager for Paul Jackson and Son Inc., saidit is a common problem with historic buildings.

Technology has improved bricks to prevent seepage and migration,but Department of Archives and History regulations limit what canbe done to improve historic structures. Original brickwork must bemaintained when possible.

“We’re very limited as to what we can actually do to improve abuilding,” Ingram said.

The company also repaired the four columns along the front ofthe structure, portions of which were rotting, and replaced windowframing.

“It will look like a brand new facility again when they getthrough with it,” Carraway said.

However, the seepage also caused “significant damage” to theinterior plaster walls and they also need to be repaired, hesaid.

Although hesitant to place a percentage on the interior workcompleted, Ingram said the company should have no trouble finishingthe job by the end of December. The company has until Jan. 28 tocomplete the auditorium work under the contract.

Carraway said the school has already begun acceptingreservations for use of the facility in January, with thestipulation that the building may not be completely finished.

“There are some local events scheduled there after the first ofthe year,” he said.

With Lampton Auditorium nearing completion, crews have alreadybegun expanding the project to begin repairs of window frames andrepainting all of the woodwork on each of the other historicbuildings on campus.