If students in the class of 2013 are lucky, they may get to see the Payne Whitney Gymnasium without scaffolding before they graduate. But probably not.

Like almost all campus construction, the facade work on the gym has been put on hold because of the economic downturn. That means the scaffolding is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

Sam Carbone, director of project management for construction and renovation, said he expects the project to resume in a year. The construction schedule will shift to accommodate the delay, he said.

The restoration, which started in the fall of 2007 and will cost an estimated $50 to $70 million, is the first time the gym’s exterior has been renovated since the so-called “Cathedral of Sweat” opened in 1932. The replacement of the bricks, mortar, 105,000 square feet of roof tiles and 2,560 square feet of leaded glass windows across six acres of exterior wall space on Payne Whitney and the Ray Tompkins House could take from six to 10 years.

(Photo: Han Xu/Senior Photographer)