Size: 217,000 SF
Type: Library
Definition: Renovation
Date Completed: 06/04/2009


Owner - Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Architect/Designer - George Acock Associates, Columbus, OH
Structural Engineer - Shelly Metz Bauman Hawk, Columbus, OH
General Contractor - Turner/Smoot, Worthington, OH
Masonry Contractor - Lang Masonry Contractors, Inc., Waterford, OH
Oberfield's, Delaware, OH
Masonry Supplier - Evans Limestone, Bedford, IN
Masonry Supplier - Lang Stone, Columbus, OH
Landscape Architect - Michael VanValkenburgh Associates, Brooklyn, NY
Other - Cold Spring Granite, Cold Spring, MN

For Lang Masonry Contractors, the renovation of the Thompson Library on the Ohio State University campus presented many challenges, including the removal, cleaning and reinstallation of large limestone and granite pieces, installation of a grand marble staircase, working at heights up to 130ft to remove, relocate and re-set the buildings signature arches.

The Thompson Library at Ohio State was built in 1913, with the addition of the Stack Tower and Pavilions completed in 1951 and a second addition completed in 1977. The $110 million dollar renovation began in 1999 with the library task force, feasibility studies in 2000, and design work through 2005. Demolition and construction began in 2006 and was completed in June 2009.

The renovated Thompson Library is the centerpiece of a plan to move Ohio State University into the forefront of academic excellence while restoring the building's original, unique architectural features to their original grandeur.

The $5.6 million dollar masonry project consisted of 36,200 gray cmu interior block, as well as the removal of 1010 tons of limestone panels and the re-install of 770 tons of limestone panels, both interior and exterior. The panels were salvaged, stored and labeled for re-use. Another element was the cleaning and restoration of limestone facade, detailed limestone carvings, terra cotta and limestone signage and installation of granite flooring and Italian Marble staircase.

Some unique challenges faced the 25 masons working on the job, including devising a safe and effective way to handle the large stone pieces, most weighing between 1300 and 3000 lbs. The answer came from our sister company, EZ Grout Corporation, with the latest product offering, the Wimag line of stone clamps and lifting devices from Germany. The design, testing, 5 to 1 safety ratio and ease of use made setting the stone pieces and marble staircase pieces just another day on the jobsite.

Another facet to this project involved working at great heights. A tower crane was set to assist in all aspects of the project. Additional cranes and Hydro-Mobile scaffolding were also used for many tasks, including the removal, relocation, raising and resetting of the stone arches at the top of the building. The 3000 lb. limestone pieces of the arch were removed and stored before being re-set after adding an additional 8 ft. to the height of the library to allow for larger windows.

Numerous elements of the original library were restored, including detailed limestone carvings, columns and flooring. Precise workmanship was required for many of these tasks, including reshaping of fire brick to be placed in the hand-carved limestone fireplace which was donated by the Class of 1912.