Project Details

Project Name

Ursinus College – Bakes Athletic Center

Project Location

Collegeville, PA

Completion Date

1986 (original), Periodic Recoats

Involved Parties

Ursinus College

Acrymax Systems


Ursinus College boasts a rich history on a beautiful campus that captivates visitors. This campus is home to the Helfferich Gym, now renamed the Bakes Athletic Center, where an Acrymax elastomeric roof coating system was initially installed in 1986 and continues to withstand the test of time, almost 40 years later. On a more personal note, Acrymax’s founder, Karl Bennung, attended Ursinus College in 1945 before ultimately graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Chemical Engineering, further cementing the bond between the institution and the company.

The Challenge

In the mid-1980s, the Bakes Athletic Center’s built-up roof showed signs of significant wear and tear which had led to leaks and visible deterioration. The financial constraints posed a challenge for a complete roof restoration. Recognizing the need for a cost-effective yet durable solution, Acrymax proposed the ARS-1 Reinforced Roof System. This was an exciting challenge for Acrymax as it was one of the first large projects completed with what is now our staple elastomeric acrylic technology.

The main roof, which spans approximately 40,000 square feet, presented a formidable task. Keeping budgetary concerns in mind, Ursinus College opted for a phased approach, spreading the application over two years, both physically and financially. The first section addressed the most critical issues, allowing simultaneous repairs on the untouched areas. The subsequent phases covered the remaining portions of the roof over the next 24 months.

The Solutions

Acrymax’s ARS-1 Reinforced Roof System proved to be a game-changer for Ursinus College. The phased restoration approach not only took their budgetary constraints into account but also ensured minimal disruption to the daily operations of the gym.

In the first year, Acrymax treated and restored the front third of the roof with the system. This was done at the same time as repairs to other sections to address and repair existing leaks. Over the next two roofing seasons, the remaining areas were also treated. This strategic approach revitalized the roof while providing a sustainable solution for the university.

The Results 

Roughly 40 years after the initial restoration, the Bakes Athletic Center’s roof is still a testament to the enduring quality of Acrymax’s elastomeric technology. Periodic maintenance has helped maintain its longevity, and the roof remains in excellent condition. The foresight the university showed in choosing a phased restoration strategy has paid dividends, with the roof expected to enjoy an extended life through regular maintenance and recoats.

Visitors to the Ursinus College campus are as impressed at the resilience of the Bakes Athletic Center’s roof as Steve Gehringer, Director of Facilities, has been. He said, “Back in the 80s, we recovered the asphalt roof on our gymnasium with an Acrymax reinforced roofing system. Today, almost 40 years later, the Acrymax roof membrane is providing outstanding protection and it is still in excellent condition. Periodic recoats have kept it that way. In addition to the money saved during the initial installation, the ability to recoat and extend the life of the roof indefinitely has continued to provide savings to us. Just last year we finished up the most recent recoat that should extend the life of the roof for an additional 10 years or more. From an asset management standpoint, the ability to control roofing costs along with the proven sustainability, has been incredibly valuable to us.” 


The Ursinus College Bakes Athletic Center roof restoration is an excellent example of how strategic planning and innovative solutions can turn a challenge into a long-term success story. Acrymax’s confidence in its technology and commitment to durable, sustainable, and cost-effective solutions has not only preserved a campus landmark but has also set the standard for excellence. As the Bakes Athletic Center continues to defy the elements, it remains a symbol of enduring quality and the partnership between Ursinus College and Acrymax.

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