History repeats itself

Kulp's of Stratford restores a Thomas Jefferson Monticello replica at Howard Young Medical Center


At Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff, Wis., life is celebrated. From first steps to first loves to the birth of a grandchild, each day begins with new promise. In 1977, the 99-bed facility was built through a generous grant from S. Howard Young, a New York art dealer and uncle of actress Elizabeth Taylor.

In 1999, it was named a Top 100 orthopedic hospital by the Health Care Information Association. In 2001, it joined Ministry Health Care and the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother, making it one of the largest and most successful Catholic health care networks in the U.S. Its network reaches across Wisconsin and into Minnesota through a system of integrated hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, home care agencies, dialysis centers, and many other programs and services.

The center itself is an acute care facility with specially trained physicians, nurses and technical personnel dedicated to caring for the health and wellness of those in its communities. Health care professionals oversee the care of general medical surgical patients as well as those in intensive care and transitional care units. Its birthing center prides itself on offering a family-centered approach to labor and delivery in a relaxing, home-like environment.

The entrance and dome to the medical center is a replica of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Charlottesville, Va., where Jefferson lived for more than four decades and spent a substantial amount of time designing, dismantling and reimagining the estate he considered his "essay in architecture."

When the roof system on the dome and wings of the medical center's Monticello were in need of replacement, Kulp's of Stratford LLC, Stratford, Wis., was selected for the project.

Restoring Wisconsin's Monticello

Wearing personal fall-arrest systems, a five-person crew began work on the steep-slope areas. The crew removed 50 squares of standing-seam and flat-panel galvanized steel that was installed over felt underlayment, which had largely disintegrated, down to the plywood deck. About 20 percent of the wood was rotted and replaced with new 3/4-inch-thick plywood. Grace Ice & Water Shield® then was installed, followed by new Coated Metals Group 24-gauge Kynar®-coated standing-seam steel panels fabricated on-site by Marathon Metals LLC, Stratford, Kulp's of Stratford's sister company.

The crew then removed the existing steel panels and felt underlayment from the dome. About 80 percent of the dome's plywood deck had rotted through and was replaced with new 3/4-inch-thick plywood. Next, Grace Ice & Water Shield® was installed, followed by new 24-gauge Kynar-coated galvanized steel interlocking panels, also fabricated on-site. Marathon Metals then made 14-inch-wide seamless flashings to cover the dome's steps.

Challenging details

The biggest challenge the crew faced was reconstructing the bases for the railings on the steep-slope areas. The railing bases had been compromised structurally because of the severity of the rotted wood. Marathon Metals designed new one-piece 24-gauge steel covers and flashings for 34 rail bases so water entry and resulting rot would never again be an issue. The pieces were fabricated, welded and painted in its sheet metal shop.

"The railings provided the biggest challenge but also were the most rewarding part of the project," says Bob Kulp, founder and owner of Kulp's of Stratford. "We reinstalled the railings in a watertight manner after leaking had caused extensive rotting, and they turned out beautiful."

A beautiful state

Work on the project began in March 2012 and was completed the second week of May. The project took a bit longer to complete because of the large amount of unexpected rotted deck to replace and unpredictable spring weather. Kulp's of Stratford successfully restored the medical center with such precision that while looking at the building, one may envision he or she is not in Wisconsin but in Virginia looking at Jefferson's Monticello.

Chrystine Elle Hanus is Professional Roofing's associate editor and NRCA's director of communications.


Project name: Howard Young Medical Center
Project location: Woodruff, Wis.
Project duration: March 2012–May 2012
Roof system type: Steel
Roofing contractor: Kulp's of Stratford LLC, Stratford, Wis.
Product manufacturers: Coated Metals Group, Madison, Wis.; Grace Construction Products, Cambridge, Mass.; Marathon Metals LLC, Stratford

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