Masonry project at AHS to begin this fall

Published 7:01 am Friday, August 21, 2009

Masonry and tuckpointing work will begin on the south end of Austin High School this fall.

Nine bids were submitted for the project, which will mostly focus on deteriorating masonry on the 1994 gymnasium addition and some parts of the building dating back to 1921 and 1939. The Austin School Board awarded the bid Wednesday to Advance Masonry Restoration, Inc., of St. Paul, at $264,230.

Architect Paul Johnson of Paul R. Johnson Architects, Inc., Austin, said the project will include replacement of 6,000 brick masonry units in addition to other repair work. The number of bricks needed could be more or less. There are a few other areas on the 1921 and 1939 buildings that were deemed hazardous.

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Some tuckpointing — the process of repairing a mortar joint in a brick wall — will also be done. The tuckpointing is done using a water-blasting method, which is less detrimental to the brick than the sand-blasting method that was used there in the mid-1970s.

Board member Kathy Green asked how long the work will be guaranteed for.

“It should be forever,” Johnson said. “We’re fixing the result of some damage that has occurred.

“We feel the fix we’re going to do here is 30 to 50 years,” he said. “There’s always going to be some maintenance.”