Cupola repairs
​(Top) Chancellor Bernie Patterson and Campus Planner Carl
Rasmussen stand atop scaffolding around the cupola
during its repair work this fall.
(Right) Patterson helps sand down some of the cupola's
peeling paint.
Cupola getting a facelift

A well-known campus symbol at UWSP is receiving a facelift.

The cupola atop of historic Old Main is surrounded by scaffolding as it undergoes repairs to re-establish structural support, update its paint job and moldings and replace current lighting with LED fixtures.

“The cupola serves as a primary symbol of the campus, so maintaining its repair, integrity and appearance has significant meaning on many levels,” said Carl Rasmussen, the university’s campus planner.

Upon learning of the work being done to the cupola, James Eggert, ’65, and his wife, Kathleen, pledged $66,000 to the project. “I had never given back to my undergraduate school,” said James. “I thought it was time.” The cupola project and replacement of the weathervane helps “preserve the pride of place on the UWSP campus.” Eggert challenges other alumni and friends to help with other fundraising opportunities.

The 22-foot tall cupola had begun to lean, sections of the fascia molding both above and below its columns had fallen off and paint was peeling, Rasmussen said. In addition, the cupola is lit at night with two 500-watt quartz light fixtures that have a short lifespan and require changing twice a year at a dangerous pitched roof location 70 feet above ground.

“Advancement in LED technology will provide increased savings in energy consumption and because of their longer life, reduce the number of bulb changes,” Rasmussen added.

The work is being done by Ellis Stone Construction of Stevens Point, with a completion date of late fall.