Penn State will begin the process of maintaining Old Main’s historic exterior by surveying the building April 10-11. An unmanned aerial vehicle will conduct the survey using telephoto equipment. This may sound like something from the future, but it might be easier to understand if Penn State just called it what it is: a drone.
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates (WJE) was selected as the lead firm for this project, as it specializes in analyzing and renovating historic buildings throughout the country. The firm also worked on renovations to Schwab Auditorium. WJE will assess Old Main’s windows, masonry, metalwork, and roofing, as well as indoor spaces connected to the exterior parts of the building.
The firm will conduct a ground assessment of Old Main Monday and the drone will fly over the building Tuesday, with a specific focus on parts of the building that would usually be hard to reach, like the top of the bell tower.
Results of the survey will be used to plan preliminary phases of maintenance to the exterior of Old Main, but a more detailed study will be held over the summer.
WJE will begin working on designs this fall and maintenance is expected to physically begin in spring 2018.