Bay Shore High School Cupola + Cornice Reconstruction

Having studied the original architectural drawings and historical photographs, in early 2023 our team of architects began their condition assessment of the cupola and cornice structures at the original Bay Shore High School. Armed with a multi-rotor drone, we began documenting every intricate detail of both roof structures at the school building dating back to 1893.

The proposed reconstruction plan, a culmination of collective efforts between BBS and several consultants, outlined the project scope that emphasized the need to preserve the cornice and cupola’s original appearance. Initially, we gathered available information about the construction materials used, architectural style and ornamentation, and modifications made to both structures over the years. This knowledge ultimately defined our project approach including structure dimensions, angles, ornamental elements (finials, balustrade, louvers, weathervane, molding, siding, flashing, etc.), as well as our selection of suitable materials and appropriate reconstruction techniques for each.

Creating a realistic budget for the cupola and cornice replacement was no easy task due to lingering effects of the pandemic-era material shortages and delivery delays. We had to establish a thorough contingency plan to address any unforeseen scheduling issues and additional expenses that could arise during the project.

With the work taking place high above the street level, safety and protective measures for construction crews were paramount. Heavy-duty lifts were utilized for the linear cornice roof edge where molding and roof decking were to be replaced, and scaffolding was erected on the roof encompassing the entire cupola to provide safe working environment. Hazardous material specialists surveyed the original structures for lead paint and other substances, and promptly developed plans for their safe removal.

Throughout the project, our architectural team gathered periodically to review the progress and our Construction Administrators ensured that every detail aligned with the design plans and NYSED / SHPO requirements. Our structural engineer’s design guaranteed structural integrity, providing peace of mind that the renovated cupola and cornice would endure the test of time (and weather) for generations to come.

The Bay Shore High School cupola today stands tall, a testament to the meticulous efforts of the design team and construction crews, and the unwavering determination of the school district Administration united in preserving their historic heritage. With the copper dome plating and weathervane shining atop, the new cupola is again a symbol of timeless beauty, (re)assuming its rightful position in the skyline of Bay Shore.