TULSA, Okla. — After a major renovation, including getting a new roof and new electrical wiring, the mausoleum at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Tulsa is about 90 percent done and back open to the public.
“They’ve never seen it where the paint wasn’t peeling off the ceiling," said Hal Ezzell, owner of Rose Hill Cemetery. "And they’ve never seen it where the lights were on and working. And the floors were actually polished.”
Families who have loved ones in the mausoleum have expressed concern about the state of the building for years.
“I think it would be distressing to anyone, it would be distressing to me, if I had a loved one that was laid to rest here, to come and see it in a severe state of disrepair," Ezzell said.
2 Works For You showed how extensive the damage was in 2016. There was paint peeling from ceiling, water leaking from the roof and covering the floor and the crypt plates covered in rust.
“Historically this is one of the two hallways on the lower floor that would’ve been standing in water continuously," Ezzell said. "That created havoc on the electrical system. It created, all the ceilings were peeling paint. None of the lights worked.”
When Ezzell bought Rose Hill Cemetery in 2013, the was mausoleum was in bad shape. He knew he had to come up with a plan to fix it. Now, 6 years later, it is nearly complete.
“We’ve been doing electrical work out here for almost five years," he said. "Just trying to get the lights turned back on for people so they’re not walking through the dark.”
Today, the ceilings have been repaired and repainted, the floors refinished and polished and the lights are on. Mold was also removed from the murals in the chapel.
Next, they are fixing the stained glass windows, replacing metal in the building and have to remove rust from about 10 crypt plates. Ezzell said he’s excited to welcome families this Memorial Day and show off the improved building.
“I get to be the one that says, ‘We fixed it. Come on in, take a look,'" he said.
Family members wishing to visit their loved ones inside the mausoleum must first go into the office to get let in.
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