The long anticipated arrival of Ken Daugherty’s crew at the Oneida Stake Academy site has restoration work proceeding. The crew is replacing all the deteriorated rock left on the building with newly cut rock and precast — a rock/concrete replication of the old stone.
“Sandstone is extremely soft. It made sense back then to use it because it is easy to work with,” said Daugherty, but sandstone does not weather well. The pre-cast stone has been formed and colored to match the original stones.
“My job is to match (the old stone),” Daugherty said. Sometimes, that has included making his own tools to get the job done right. He brings with him the experience he and his crew gained working on other historic buildings in the area, such as Cache Valley Bank, Old Main on the Utah State University Campus, the Logan Tabernacle, and a home in Ephraim, Utah, built in the 1870s.
Daugherty enjoys the challenge of working with old and new materials.
“I like doing this more than new masonry. There are always problems and it is challenging to find a solution that fixes and makes the existing structure better,” he said.
Once his crew finishes fixing the rockwork, the rest of the windows in the building will be replaced with new windows made to replicate the look of the original windows, but to function as needed in today’s world.
One of the things learned by members of the board of the Oneida Stake Academy Foundation, which has been working to restore the building for 16 years, are some of the reasons behind the architecture of the 129-year-old building.
Because the building was constructed prior to the advent of electricity, it was built to work with Mother Nature. Tall narrow windows capture the first and last rays of the sun to light the building’s interior. Double-hung panes allowed the building’s occupants to tap into the science of rising hot air, falling cold air and the presence of any cool breeze that may blow by, to regulate the temperature inside the building.
Thick walls not only hold the weight of the stone used to make them, but hold temperatures longer, keeping the interior of the building a more constant climate.
“The lessons we have learned have given us a healthy respect for the knowledge held by our community’s founders,” said Saundra Hubbard, chairwoman of the OSAF.
The building will not be accessible for the sixth annual OSA Heritage Day on Aug. 3. Instead, the celebration of Franklin County’s pioneer heritage will be held outside on the OSA grounds. Displays, games and guest speaker Darren Parry will all focus on the arrival of the transcontinental railroad.