WHEELING – Those who drive past and come to the Stifel Fine Arts Center on the national road see a lot more these days.
The scaffolding that once completely surrounded the building has begun to disappear. Oglebay Institute president Danielle McCracken said the roof restoration project, which was the reason for the scaffolding, is expected to be completed by mid-July.
Some of the scaffolding remains, McCracken said, because there was a section of the roof that needed closer inspection and more detailed repair. A structural engineer was called in to look into the matter and other necessary supplies were ordered for the repair.
The project began in fall 2021, McCracken said.
“It’s a total roof replacement,” she said. “We joined a lot of bricks on the building. We did chimney work. At the front columns there were cracks in those which have all been addressed. And there was plastering work. There were leaks affecting other parts of the building and the brick as well.
The project, managed by Durable Slate, will cost around $1.1 million. The company installed a new Ludowici tile roof to match the historic tile roof, installed decorative copper caps on all the chimneys, fixed the flashing on the chimneys and added copper ventilation, among other things.
The building, completed in 1912, was originally the home of the Stifel family. The family donated the building to the Oglebay Institute in 1976 for use as a public art center. Since then, the Stifel Fine Arts Center has hosted numerous art exhibitions, art courses and summer camps, dance classes and more. It was also used for social functions like weddings and receptions.
The Oglebay Institute wants all of this to continue for even longer, McCracken said, so she’s very happy to see the progress being made on the restoration project.
“We’re really excited to be back to normal,” she said. “Really, there’s also the peace of mind that we’ve made such a significant investment with the support of the community to accomplish this.
“It’s not just about structure,” McCracken added. “It’s about what happens within the structure that is so important to the community. We are grateful and have peace of mind that future generations can continue to enjoy the Stifel Fine Arts Center.
The center’s restoration is part of an overall OI fundraising campaign that includes projects at the Towngate Theatre, capital and education endowments, and exhibition development and audience engagement priorities nationwide. ‘OI. Anyone interested in learning more or contributing to the capital campaign can visit www.oionline.com/capitalcampaign or contact Oglebay Institute at 304-242-4200.