Last updated: February 16. 2013 6:16PM - 279 Views

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After nearly one year of effort and with the assistance of community partners and volunteers, the Restore the Slope team will commemorate restoration of the Oil House structure in Archbald.

On Aug. 23, the Leadership Lackawanna Restore the Slope team will gather at the former Gravity Slope Colliery site in Archbald to unveil the renovation and preservation work the group has accomplished since beginning their project September, 2011, at the start of the most recent Leadership Lackawanna class year. The ribbon-cutting event will start at 8:30 a.m. in front of the Oil House, located above the parking area for the LHVA Heritage Explorer Trail, adjacent to the residence at 151 Laurel Street in Archbald.

The Restore the Slope project teams: Hemal P. Desai of Proctor & Gamble, Susan A. Micka of Prudential Retirement, Lisa A. Deal of Geisinger Health Systems, Lisa A. Konzelman of Baptist Bible College & Seminary, Becky J. Snyder of Allied Services, Gerard M. Hetman and Michael C. Baumhardt of The University of Scranton.

Since receiving their project assignment last September, the project team has utilized a wide range of skills and talents to coordinate and execute renovations to the Oil House structure. The work completed will allow the building to be opened for use by the Gravity Slope Colliery Authority as a welcome center for visitors and set the stage for further renovations at the direction of the authority.

Restoration work at the site:

* Masonry Repair: Damaged sections of the brickwork that composes the inside/outside walls of the Oil House have been repaired or replaced.

* Steel Beam Replacement: Two steel beams that support the roof structure, which were missing at the start of the project, have been replaced.

* Roof Replacement: The original roof, damaged after decades of neglect and weather damage, has been replaced with a corrugated metal surface and layer of wood support.

* Graffiti Removal: Various defamatory markings left on both the interior and exterior of the structure have been removed.

* Asbestos Removal: All remaining asbestos present in the structure has been removed and disposed of, in full compliance with state and federal guidelines.

* Handicapped Ramp Construction: To allow full access to the Oil House for all, a handicapped-accessible ramp has been constructed.

* Trail Sign Installation: The Restore the Slope team is working to have a trail marker (similar to other signs along the LHVA Heritage Explorer Trail) placed at the building site, to allow visitors to read the history behind both the building and preservation efforts.

This project was supported by a Lackawanna County Community Arts and Culture grant, a program of the Lackawanna County Commissioners and the Council on Art, Culture and Education.

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