SALEM, Va. - One of four stately columns lining the portico on Roanoke College's campus centerpiece, known as the Administration building, needs replacing, and the work began this week.
The column, which dates back to renovations that took place on the building in 1903, recently began to bow for unknown reasons. It will be replaced with another wood column, but this one contains steel reinforcements to help maintain its shape. The building's portico was jacked up earlier in the week in preparation for today's work.
The first structure on the school's Salem campus, the Administration building went up in 1847, a square, two-story box at the time. Over the years, east and west wings and the upper story were added. The last major renovation, in 1903, did not include a proposed 96-foot dome that imitated the nation's Capitol building and was strongly endorsed by the architect but did add the four large columns.
The Administration Building (which houses the offices of the President, Dean of the College, the Registrar's Office, the Director of International Education, the Director of General Education and the Executive Director of Institutional Research), together with Miller Hall, Trout Hall and Bittle Hall, which flank it, is registered as a Virginia and National Historic Landmark.
College officials plan to keep the wood from the column, but have not yet determined what will be done with it. Work to replace the column is expected to take at least one to two weeks.
Roanoke College, the country's second oldest Lutheran-related college, is an independent, co-educational, four-year liberal arts college. Roanoke is one of just 276 colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review names Roanoke as one of the "best in the Southeast." Roanoke's 2,000 students represent 40 states across the U.S. and 26 foreign countries.
For additional information, call the Roanoke College Public Relations Office at (540) 375-2282.