Mepham H.S. Library

Library Preservation Project

A major endeavor of the W.C. Mepham High School Alumni Association was announced with this article in Scuttlebutt:

The cover of the 2010 Scuttlebutt features a photo taken in our beautiful library for two reasons; it serves as a small reminder of the room's grace and grandeur and also commemorates the official kick-off for our latest gift to the building—a preservation project of its beautiful woodwork. Future publications will include more photos of this magnificent and impressive room and we hope to line up a student to document the project's progress (as we did with the mural project).

The work will focus on water and heat damage (around windows and radiation), intensive stripping and cleaning, minimal re-staining and finally, resealing with shellac. Contractors we've consulted are making similar comparison to the mural: in addition to the original quality and craftsmanship, the wood in remarkable condition, its age and use considered!

The need for this work was brought to our attention by head custodian, Gino DeClemente (who was instrumental in initiating the mural project as well). Click on picture for larger image.

This endeavor, like the mural project, may draw some criticism in that it is more "maintenance" and less "gift". Please bear in mind that our school district is responsible for the upkeep and improvements to an aging infrastructure that includes seven buildings, all 45+ years and older. We have been told that the school board cannot "play favorites" and must distribute its tax and aid revenue equally. Those readers who still live here are painfully aware of your share of school taxes. The rest of you recognize the effect of state and federal cutbacks on budgets everywhere. When it comes to making a choice between spending money on the kids or certain repairs and improvements, it's obvious what falls by the wayside. We're also fortunate to have a caring custodial staff that takes (almost) as much pride in our alma mater as we do, but Mepham is unique in that we have an active and engaged Alumni Association that is in a position to help.

We hope to be able to move forward with this project in summer 2011. [Because of other activities in the school the preservation work was delayed until the summer of 2012]

Frank Setteducati '70

For a history of the Mepham High School library click here.

Library Preservation Project Gallery

Click on pictures to see larger images. Back-arrow to close

The Condition of the Library Before They Started

Work Done During the Preservation

Books were removed
from all the bookshelves.

Books were stored in
stacks of boxes in the hall.

Furniture was moved to the
center of the room.

Scaffolding was installed to
reach the heights of the room.

A movable platform was used
for intermediate heights.

Sometimes the artisans
worked on stepladders.

How It Looks After the Preservation
Afterwards: The Celebration, Ribbon-Cutting, and Refreshments

Photos by Michael Harrington, Shari Stack, Clare Worthing, and Jerry Worthing