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Roll Call: PA Schoolhouse Needs Paint

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

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A project to paint and repair a historic school building that was once part of one of the country’s earliest religious communities is up for bid in Ephrata, PA.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has invited contractors to submit bids by Aug. 9 for painting and repairing the exterior surfaces of the Ephrata Cloister Academy Building.

Scope of Work

The project includes cleaning and coating all exterior wood and metal surfaces of the European-style historic structure.

Ephrata Academy
Smallbones / Wikimedia Commons

The project involves painting and repairing the exterior of the Ephrata (PA) Cloister Academy built in 1837.

The contractor will paint wood surfaces with two extremely thin coats of linseed oil zinc primer and two finish coat of semi-gloss exterior 100% acrylic latex. Metal will be coated with one coat of red oxide primer and two coats of gloss black enamel. All coatings should be brush-applied, according to the project documents.

Proper precautions and air monitoring will be required as the existing coatings contain lead, the project documents indicate. The contractor will strip exterior surfaces of existing lead paint, excluding cupola posts (but including cupola siding), using an infra-red stripper or heat gun. Cupola posts, cornice, and railings may be wet scraped and sanded, rather than stripped.

All brush strokes on woodwork must follow the grain of the wood and the finished appearance should be smooth, resembling 19th century paint.

History of the Structure

Founded in 1732 by German settlers, the Ephrata Cloister was one of America’s earliest religious communities. The community consisted of celibate brothers and sisters, as well as a congregation of married families.

DevanieJoy / Wikimedia Commons

The Ephrata Cloister was one of America’s earliest religious communities. The Pennsylvania Historical Commission acquired the site in 1941.

The youngest building onsite, the Academy opened at the cloister in 1837 as a private school for children of the community. It was first operated by the Seventh Day Baptist congregation and later served as a public school for the area until it closed in 1926.

The 28-acre site was acquired by the Pennsylvania Historical Commission in 1941, and the nine remaining European-style buildings were all restored. The restoration project was reportedly headed by architect G. Edwin Brumbaugh, although most of the interiors were said to have been restored by architect John Heyl.

Today, the National Historic Landmark site operates as a museum, offering daily tours and special programs. The ongoing research is continually used to educate visitors about the buildings and lifestyles of the people who once lived there, according to the owner’s site.

Reported by Paint BidTracker, a construction reporting service devoted to identifying contracting opportunities for the coatings community.


Tagged categories: Bidding; Government; Government contracts; Historic Structures; Lead paint abatement; Maintenance + Renovation

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