Decorative plaster damage in Eaton Hall causes temporary room closures

Classrooms on the second floor of Eaton Hall remain blocked off due to damage from recent snow storms on Feb. 27. (Scott Fitchen / The Tufts Daily)

A piece of decorative plaster molding above the suspended ceilings in Eaton Hall fell through the ceiling onto the floor over the weekend before Valentine’s Day, according to Senior Facilities Director Steve Nasson. As a result, four classrooms in Eaton Hall with the decorative molding were closed for repairs, according to Nasson, but they have now been reopened.

“Above the suspended ceilings are the older, plaster ceilings. There is also decorative plaster molding that wraps the perimeter of the plaster ceilings,” Nasson told the Daily in an email. “A piece of this plaster molding broke away and came through the ceiling tiles.”

Nasson emphasized that this is not a structural issue with the building, and that the roof and structure of Eaton Hall are still sound, contrary to some rumors.

Facilities Services chose to remove the decorative molding that remained after a piece fell away. Once the remaining molding had been removed, a process which took several days, the classrooms were reopened, according to Nasson.

Fortunately, Nasson noted, nobody was present in the affected rooms when the molding broke through the suspended ceiling.

“The room was unoccupied at the time and the decision was made to close the classrooms until we could get a look at the remaining molding,” Nasson said.

Jo Ann Jack, the registrar of Arts, Sciences and Engineering, explained that classes in the affected rooms had been moved to different locations until the molding could be removed.

According to Christine Fitzgerald, the manager of service marketing and communications for Tufts Technology Services, these issues did not impact the computer lab, technology services or any other technical operations in Eaton Hall.

“The main computer lab was not affected by this at all,” Fitzgerald told the Daily in an email.

Construction of Eaton Hall was first completed in 1908, and the building has undergone numerous renovations since then, according to a 2013 Daily article.

“I would say that this issue was related to the age of the building as well as the original installation and consistency of the plaster,” Nasson said.


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