Remodeling under way at Shepherd's McMurran Hall

September 12, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Historic McMurran Hall in Shepherdstown is getting a facelift.

Since June, crews have been using a chemical stripping agent to remove old paint from the Shepherd University building along German Street.

It's been about 10 years since the building has been painted, and the work is part of $1.1 million in improvements to the building, said Ed Magee, vice president for administration and finance at Shepherd.

The project also includes the repair of columns in the front of the building, Magee said.

The chemical stripping agent is being used to lift paint from brick, and a process called "media blasting" is being used to remove paint from metal and wood surfaces, Magee said.


The building will be repainted yellow. College officials hope to have the project completed by the beginning of winter, if weather cooperates, Magee said.

Paint on the building is lead-based, and sections of the building are being enclosed in plastic to make sure the lead does not become airborne, Magee said.

Part of the process involves collecting the lead paint to make sure it is disposed of properly, Magee said.

McMurran Hall houses the Shepherd University Foundation and other school offices, and its history runs deep. It was once the site of county government operations.

After the Jefferson County Courthouse was destroyed by shell fire in the Civil War, the county seat was moved to Shepherdstown in February 1865. The county seat remained there until August 1871, when the West Virginia Court of Appeals ruled that the seat would be transferred back to Charles Town, according to local history on the courthouse.

The work on McMurran Hall is just one of several improvements at the school.

Shepherd University Dining Services recently spent $60,000 to add 360 square feet of space and equipment to upgrade the dining area in the Ram's Den.

The work resulted in the addition of four new retail concepts: Island Oasis smoothies, Nescafe hot and cold blended coffee beverages, Crustano's sandwiches and On the Go express sandwiches and salads, according to a school press release.

Dining Services also repainted the area, installed new cabinetry and added a second cash register to increase the speed of service, the release said.

The new food areas were opened to students Aug. 12.

The changes in the Ram's Den were completed to make the food areas more customer-friendly and make them more convenient for students, Magee said.

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