Howard Presbyterian Church


Seeking a permanent solution to problems that had plagued a classroom building roof for nearly two decades, parishoners at the Howard Memorial Presbyterian Church in Tarboro, NC, decided to change the structure’s roof profile from flat to sloped, and to top the building with a roof material they’d come to trust—metal!

Pastor Christopher Edmonston said the classroom building was constructed in 1958 and that its roof had been a problem almost from the outset. And no wonder. As was common in that day, the building’s flat roof was hidden behind exterior parapet walls. While beneficial aesthetically, these walls created an unfavorable performance condition that contributed to the accummulation of leaves and other debris on the roof, hindering proper drainage.

Wanting to get the new roof design just right, the parishoners contacted Richard Andrews of DKWA Architects, Rocky Mount, NC. DKWA was no stranger to retrofitting old buildings with metal. One of the premier architectural firms in the area, it had completed numerous metal retrofits for local businesses, schools and governmental facilities. The contractor on the project was very experienced with retrofit metal roof systems too. Jim McClure of McClure Estimating and Construction had been retrofitting exclusively with MBCI components for more than 20 years, and naturally made exclusive use of the Houston, TX-based manufacturer’s NuRoof® Retrofit Roof System products on the Howard Memorial Presbyterian Church project.

To change the building’s roof from flat to 6:12 sloped, McClure Estimating engineered a roof sub-structural system that would install right over the top of the old flat roof surface. Covering the new framing system are 24-gauge MBCI SuperLok® standing seam panels in a Charcoal Gray color. At the gable walls, MBCI’s Artisan® L12 panels in a Snow White color were installed. To complement the existing cut stone cornices on the sanctuary, soffited overhangs were created with brake-formed 24-gauge Snow White metal sill rim installed at the existing wall line. DKWA and McClure selected an Ogee style gutter to finish the cornice appearance.

The church is located on the grounds of the original Tarboro town cemetery, which began with the first burial in 1790. Construction of the original church, Calvary Episcopal, began in 1859 and it was consecrated in 1868. It is believed that revolutionary war dead are buried in the cemetery, as are Civil War Confederate soldiers and veterans. Union soldiers killed at the Daniel’s schoolhouse engagement in 1863 were also buried there until their families claimed the remains after the war.

Among the Confederate dead there is General William Dorsey Pender. He led the brigade at the Battle of Chancellorsville in 1863. He was mortally wounded during the Battle of Gettysburg on July 2, 1863. Henry Toole Clark of Tarboro, the Governor of North Carolina from 1861 to 1862, is also buried there. It was he who prepared the state for war by assembling troops, gathering supplies and making critical alliances. He also organized the successful defense of vital ports from early Union attacks.

About MBCI


MBCI supplies a wide range of metal roofing and wall panels, along with related products. For more information, visit www.mbci.com.

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