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Rotunda Roof Construction to Continue Through Spring - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Rotunda Roof Construction to Continue Through Spring

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The Rotunda roof revamp at the University of Virginia should be done by May, just in time for graduation, but it is only phase one of a multi-million dollar project to restore the iconic Jeffersonian building.

Phase one is the roof replacement, and it's a very visible construction project in Charlottesville.

"We get a lot of attention. We get a lot of questions," said Jody Lahendro, UVA historic preservation architect.

Layers of copper sheets are the latest addition to the Rotunda roof replacement. The roof has been leaking for years.

This portion is just the first part of a $51 million revamp for the historic building.

"We had to work hard to find contractors and trades people experienced with this type of work," said Lahendro.

"Six teams are now working here on the dome of the Rotunda.  They're working on an accelerated timeline to get it all done by graduation weekend in May so the scaffolding will be gone."

"It's fantastic.  It's a project of a lifetime," said Lahendro.

The roofing will continue through April, and a new skylight will be installed in March.  The copper will get a coat of white paint at the end of April or early May.

The remaining phases of the project will address everything under the roof, including electrical and plumbing systems, data infrastructure, sprinklers and security alarms.

"I've come to learn so much more about the rotunda in terms of appreciating the changes that have been made over time," said Lahendro.

State money is still needed to fund the entire project. That could come this summer. UVA is hoping to split the costs. If things go as planned, all projects will be finished by the summer 2016.

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