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The main Quad at Utah State University appears just like you would imagine any historic college campus setting: pristine and regal. Helping set that tone are the composite shake roofs atop three of the university’s primary structures: Old Main, the Ray B. West building and the Geology building.
Started in 1888 as the Agricultural College of Utah, a change came to the Logan, Utah campus in 1957 when the school was renamed to Utah State University. During the early years, Old Main, the landmark structure at the school, was built in 1889. Almost three decades later both the Geology and Ray B. West buildings were constructed in 1918.
In recent years the older roofing tiles on key structures of the Quad have been failing. To secure the look of historic timeless appeal, the university invested in composite shake roofing from DaVinci Roofscapes. First the Geology building was reroofed in 2013. In 2015, when Old Main required a new roof, the DaVinci composite tiles were again installed. Then, in 2018 another structure — the Ray B. West building — received its new DaVinci roof.
“As time goes on, the old cedar shakes on our structures are deteriorating badly and need to be replaced,” says Quin E. Whitaker, PE MBA and the structural engineer/project manager at Utah State University. “We now have THREE historic buildings completed with the DaVinci composite shingles. We’ve used the same shingle style and color for all the structures.
“Our intent is to complete one more historical building roofing project in that same area in the near future — the Animal Science building — which was originally constructed in 1917.”
Photo taken from the roof of Geology building. Across is the Ray B. West building. Old Main is on the right.
In a previous DaVinci blog Whitaker relates how the university’s representatives were required to meet with the State Historical Department of Utah to gain approval of the composite shingles proposed for Old Main.
“When we met with the state’s representative, he declined all proposed roofing samples, including one from DaVinci,” says Whitaker. “We asked him to go look at the DaVinci tiles installed on our Geology building back in 2012. As soon as we got there, he immediately told us the composite tiles looked great and met his expectations.
“We were truly relieved to gain his approval. Old Main is our flagship building. It houses the president of the university, her staff and many other administration officials and classrooms. We didn’t wish to skimp on the quality of this roofing product.”
For Whitaker and the team at USU, having authentic-looking roofing tiles in a consistent style and color are critical for the overall appearance of the campus.
“We won’t even consider another roofing product for the Quad area,” says Whitaker. “We’re impressed with how the DaVinci product handles our weather conditions over the past several years. We consider it a win for USU to have a composite shake product that looks architecturally correct while being backed by such a strong warranty.”
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