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(from "The Victorian")

SINCE September (1989) scaffolding has been placed around various parts of Victoria College. Workers have been spraying the Howard Davis and new building with a hydrochloric acid mix and hosing down while the main building has had large chunks of stone cut out of it. This is part of a seventy week program to restore and partly rebuild the College's stonework.

The buildings already treated, under treatment, or planned for treatment are the Eden block and staff common room, the Howard Davis building, the main building, the science block. Sir Galahad and the new building. In general the granite is being cleaned, re-pointing is taking place where necessary on all granite and all down pipes are to be replaced.

In the main building the soft stone which is cream coloured is coming out except on lower levels.

It is being replaced with a suitable stone except on the lower levels which are to be left. The upstairs subsill is to be replaced as are the sloping bricks jutting out from the building. The soft stone is being replaced because it is porous allowing ingress of water. This water doesn't drain from the rock quickly so when the water freezes, the stone cracks and crumbles, falling away when the ice thaws.

The windows are going to be replaced, along with the surrounding stone, and new, leaded-lights windows will be introduced. These windows will use the lead strips which were a feature of Victoria College before the 1950's when they were removed during the last major repairs.

The window openings will change from four openings to one and in the main hall the number of horizontal struts will a1so be reduced from eleven to six. Fewer openings are intended to cut down on maintenance and improve the conservation of heat. Ideally windows with no openings would be installed but a full air-conditioning system would be structurally difficult and fitting the system in the college would present some problems. The openings are to be lower than before so making operation of these easier.

At any one time two or three rooms with one window or one room with two or three windows will be worked on. Rooms with one window will take about seven weeks but larger rooms with more windows will take more than two months. The main hall, for example, is expected to be worked on between July and December.

When this is happening, the windows will boxed in so the main hall can still be used in this period.

The stone figures, such as the figure heads or the front of the main building, are to be replaced. Painting the stonework inside the building will not take place. Unpainted stone allows it to breath so reducing the deterioration.

Two temporary classrooms have been situated next to the scout hut so lessons will be disrupted as little as possible when the various rooms are out of action.