Phase One Renovation Work Weekend #2

January 11-13, 2008

Click here for a full gallery from the event.

It was another very productive work weekend and we had a good turnout of alumni, undergraduates and even  parents and spouses joined in as well.  The team of brothers included:

Jeff Serfass '67
Bob Potter '69
Guy Iaccarino  '84
Gordon Toleman '78
Andy O'Neill '76
Marc Kaplan '67 and his wife Phyllis
Zack Eisemann '10 and his Mom, Maggie and his Dad, Joel
Josh Edgerton '11, rushee
Courtney Baker '10
Andrew Jeong '10
Steve Richardson '09
Bill Duthie '71
Ross (aka Rockie) Robinson '72 and his son Scott

The big push was on to get the first floor and the outside presentable for rush, which started on Tuesday, January 15. We were blessed with warm weather for January in Ithaca (45 degrees) and a crew was able to rake the outside lawns, wash the windows on the ground and first floors inside and out, repair the broken window by the front door, trim the dead wood off the shrubs, and strip the vines off the sides of the house. Fortunately, Andy brought his full-size pickup, and we made several trash runs to haul away all the debris from the inside and outside of the house.

We didn't have to do much painting, as the painting crew from Bill Duthie's company had done a super job of patching and painting all the first-floor rooms we had not finished during the December work weekend. That was a huge help -- a big thank you to Bill for getting all that painting done.

We also met with a mechanical contractor to solve the lack of hot shower water problem and to repair the heating circulation pump for the second and third floors.  Sue Cosentini also stopped by to make suggestions for interior color schemes.

There was a lot of discussion about what to do with the existing wood trim. The consensus was to try to restore the wood trim instead of painting over the wood. Over half the lobby has been stripped or scraped and it looks terrific. The stripped wood is much lighter and gives an entirely different look to the entry. Guy spent hours stripping the old varnish off the dentils up by the ceiling, and Ross stripped the exterior of the front doors as well.

Mark buffed up the brass memorial plaques in the pool room and noted that the 100-year-anniversary of the 1908 fire is this January 31.

Ross also put his Canadian nickel mining experience to good use and burrowed into the bar to clean it out. He emerged covered in dirt and dust but the bar room was amazingly cleaned up.  We even uncovered a semicircular foundation window into the bar that was unknown to generations of ATOs!

Mark's wife, Phyllis, was incredible and scrubbed the floor of the TV room on her hands and knees and then did the same for the stairs going from the first floor to the dining room. As usual, she was working hard while the men were busy trading tales of yore!  

Andy fixed windows and sanded the lobby and back hall floors among other things. With all his work, all the glue-covered flooring was stripped, sanded, and then waxed. After Jeff, Guy, and Gordon led the way by waxing the living room floor by hand and on our knees (boy, did that bring back memories!), the undergraduates did a super job and finished waxing and buffing the rest of the rooms on the first floor. While ATO won't be winning any house beautiful awards, it is a huge improvement.

A new sign for the front lawn was ordered and will be delivered this week. It will be installed with tamper-proof hardware to keep it in our front lawn and not in somebody else's basement.

Joel and Maggie Eisenmann were a huge help by getting new furniture for the first floor, rugs, pool cues, a ping pong table, lining up a chimney sweep, and getting a quote to recover the pool table and working on the floors as well.

By Sunday night, the ladders and tools were put away, the floors were shiny, and the first floor and exterior were presentable for rush.

Gordon "Blade" Toleman '78
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