Type: Education
Definition: Renovation


Owner: John Brown University
Masonry Contractor: John McBride Construction Co.
General Contractor: Flintco
Masonry Suppliers: US Stone, NorthWest Cast Stone

John McBride Construction Co. was hired to apply 80,000 sq ft of stone veneer to the historic "Cathedral Group" buildings at John Brown University. The crew ranged from 10 to 20 people who worked for seven months to repair the Cathedral of the Ozarks, Art building and Engineering building.

McBride used a thin cut limestone 1 1/2 in. thick to veneer the buildings in an ashlar pattern. The 50-year-old structures had been built using concrete blocks made by the students and faculty. Their intentions were to someday be able to veneer it with limestone, but never finished the projects due to insufficient funds.

McBride was asked to create a massive 8 x 10 ft sample panel that had to meet approval before they started. Their innovative construction technique used real stone adhered by mortar. All the windows and arches had to be field measured and cut piece by piece. The university remained in session during construction.

The owner sold individual stones to people to put messages on. These stones were then installed to be a permanent part of the building. The university used the sale of these stones to raise money for the project.

At a "re-dedication" ceremony in October, the University celebrated its revitalized Cathedral Group buildings, which look like new.