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Scaffolding down, Gesu plans future work

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Scaffolding down, Gesu plans future work

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The Church of the Gesu’s scaffolding was taken down over winter break while plans for the church’s 2014 construction procedures are being finalized.

Despite previous plans to perform construction on the parish’s interior, John O’Brien, executive director of operations for Gesu, said those plans are cancelled at this point in time.

“While we have yet to complete our specific plans for 2014, I feel it is likely there will be more work to complete in 2014,” O’Brien said in a December email.

O’Brien told the Tribune in September there were plans to put scaffolding back up on the sides and in the rear of Gesu starting in late spring 2014.

The church is in the midst of a repair and restoration effort that is taking multiple years to complete.

Andrew Brodzeller, associate director of university communication, said Marquette is not providing any funding for construction. Rather, the funds are coming from parish fundraising and capital reserves. Approximately $1.5 million was spent on Gesu construction in 2013.

Construction on Gesu paused to complete a safety assessment following a December incident where a piece of construction metal fell from the scaffolding and almost struck two students. After the metal piece fell, a construction worker retrieved it without making conversation with the surrounding bystanders. The two students said they believed if they had been walking slightly faster, the 2 feet by 2 feet L-shaped metal piece could have struck and seriously injured them.

O’ Brien said the church was in contact with an independent safety expert in response to the incident.

“The investigation was completed before resuming activity on the project,” O’Brien said. “Expanded protection was put in place and the work completed.”

The construction process experienced delays due to tuck pointing, which is the remortaring of joints between two structural elements, a process that is difficult when working with the variety of materials that make up Gesu.

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