For any Canadian Armed Forces members who have graduated from the Royal Military College (RMC) in Kingston, the Mackenzie Building likely holds a lot of memories. The federally-classified heritage building has been part of the academic facilities for more than 145 years, and is classified as a heritage site because of its historical associations and architectural and environmental value.

Building R16, the Mackenzie Building, and Building R55, the old hospital at RMC, are both getting masonry and building envelope repairs and restoration under a $4-million facelift that began in 2022 and is expected to finish in 2024.

Restoration of the Mackenzie Building, which also houses RMC headquarters, is especially detailed.

“The Mackenzie Building has much more ornate stonework than many other older buildings, with very intricate detailing,” says Cameron Johnston, DCC Coordinator, Construction Services, in Kingston. “Through the procurement process, we had to ensure the company we retained specialized in this type of restoration and masonry. I suspect a lot of other old limestone buildings in Canada are facing the same deterioration and need for restoration.”

The old hospital restoration includes full repointing and repair of the limestone masonry, total restoration of historical wooden windows and new storm windows, and a new copper Mansford roof. The Mackenzie Building will receive selective masonry and window restoration and repairs.

As with many historical restoration projects, there have been challenges, including an unexpected deconstruction and rebuilding of the R55 limestone chimneys, and on-site window restoration due to unexpected structural issues.

“I’m very grateful to the consultant, contractor, DND and DCC team who worked on this project. A project of this size and complexity definitely requires a team effort.”

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