Mansfield University of Pennsylvania

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Mansfield University Home Page > Mansfield University History Home Page > Campus Buildings > North Hall > North Hall P. 5

Before any further steps could be taken, the building needed to be evaluated by an architect to determine if modifications could be made to support a change in weight capacity. According to Nesbitt, the weight-bearing capacity differed between a residence hall and a library. A typical library needs at least 150 pounds per square foot versus the 60 pounds per square foot required of a typical residence hall. In order to update the building there needed to be steel rods in the framework. The university got lucky. In 1985 Treby-Howard Phillips, an architectural firm from Allentown, PA surveyed the North wing and found the building structurally sound. The components needed to convert the old dormitory into a library were there. “If they had torn apart the south wing first, the building would have been torn down. So it was a pure stroke of luck,” Nesbitt said.
The $6 million that was initially allotted by the state was not enough to complete the project. Another  three to four million was needed.  Dr. Stephen Bickham, professor of philosophy at Mansfield, created the Save North Hall committee as part of a fundraising effort. “The Save North Hall Committee was a faculty, alumni, student group of Pennsylvania citizens interested in supporting the university.” Bickham explained.

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