Contractors from Durable Slate Company of Columbus work to renovate the bell tower of the historic Main Building at Olney Friends School.Renovation of the 100-year-old slate roof on the historic Main Building at Olney Friends School continues despite winter weather. The work is projected to extend the life of the roof another 100 years.Historic Main Building at Olney Friends School Gets a Rebuilt Bell Tower, Renewed RoofRenovations continue at Olney Friends SchoolSome things are built to last. Such appears to be the case with the historic 1910 Main Building on the Olney Friends School campus.The school has contracted with The Durable Slate Company of Columbus to complete renovations on two aspects of the building - the roof and the bell tower. Workers will replace all broken slate and replace all flashing, valleys, and ridge caps on the roof with coated copper. They will also re-clad the bell tower with coated copper, replacing rusty metal.Work has already begun on the project. Head of school Rich Sidwell says he was surprised but pleased when he learned that winter weather would not slow the start of the work. "When we asked when they could begin the project, they said snow would not be a problem. They can just blow it off the surfaces where they are working," said Sidwell. Sure enough, workers arrived in early December to build scaffolding and begin the job. "It has been a little bit surreal, watching them work despite the weather. But it's very exciting," he said. "The Main Building is really the heart of the campus. Classes are held there; meals are served; we gather for daily silent reflection and school events in the Collection Room; everyone gravitates to the library; and faculty have their offices in the building," he said."It's a lot of work, but they think they might have it done by the end of the year, weather being one of the main determining factors, of course," said maintenance director Joel Rockwell.The slate on the roof dates from 1910 when the Main Building was rebuilt after fire destroyed the building. Representatives of Durable Slate Company estimate after their repairs it could last another 100 years."We do our best at Olney to make wise use of resources," said Sidwell. "This is a wonderful example of how we try to invest in the future. We were delighted to learn we could extend the life of this 100-year-old roof by another 100 years through careful repairs," he said.But of the two Main Building renovation projects underway, it is repairs to the bell tower that are more likely to tug at the heart strings of those associated closely with the school."The bell tower is not only an important architectural detail in the building. It's also regarded as a symbol of the school by alumni," said development director Mary Sidwell. "Folks who have graduated from the school have strong sentiments tied to the bell tower.""Renovations to the exterior of the Main are a key part of a comprehensive fund-raising campaign for the school," she added. "We are grateful for the generosity of alumni, parents, and friends who are making this work on both the roof and the bell tower possible for future generations of Olney Friends School students."The entire Olney Friends School campus is listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.Olney Friends School, a boarding and day high school located in Barnesville, Ohio, brings students from around the state, around the country, and around the world to study in a college preparatory program in grades 9-12. The academic program focuses on the humanities, arts, and sciences.