During the early months of the 2012-13 school year, staff members at the historic Longview Farm Elementary noticed that the school’s rod-iron veranda was in need of significant repair.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Longview Farm Elementary opened in 2005 after being converted from the Longview Show Horse Arena into the Lee’s Summit R-7 school.
The veranda is located on the outside of the second floor of the original Show Horse Arena portion of the building, just above the main entrance. The iron structure is an important feature of the school’s facade.
The arena was one of a number of historic Longview Farm buildings constructed by lumber baron R.A. Long in 1913 and 1914. The rod-iron veranda, like the Show Horse Arena portion of the school, is approximately 100 years old.
“The staff at Longview Farm uses the veranda to hang banners throughout the year,” said Jay Helland, R-7 Facilities Services executive director. “In placing the banners, they discovered a lot of rust on the rod iron and saw that the structure itself was becoming unstable.”
Facilities services staff members removed the veranda from the school during the winter months and moved it to the district’s shop where school district staff members work on a variety of district projects. Facilities employees salvaged as much of the original structure as possible – mainly the decorative finials (located on the top of several iron posts) and the decorative iron ovals.
Workers had the additional challenge of conforming to the requirements for repairs to a building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Any work on the building must follow these guidelines and maintain the original look of the structure.
Repairing the original veranda, which includes metal fabrication, welding, bending and design, took several months as district craftsmen complete the task while working around numerous priorities at the district’s 28 schools and other R-7 buildings. The final step was to send the veranda to a specialty paint dealer where it was powder-coated using a process designed to last for decades.
Staff members involved in the restoration project included Dave Taylor, carpentry supervisor, as well as Mark Haskamp, Jason Nau, Ken Ruehling, Randy Gammon and Chad Turner.
The restored veranda was hung back onto on the school on May 29.