OXFORD, Ohio — Woolpert is providing structural engineering services for the renovation of three Miami University residence halls as part of the public university’s long-term goal to provide the best undergraduate experience in the nation.

Woolpert was contracted by GBBN Architects, who was hired by Messer Construction, to improve site work, architectural finishes and details, life safety features, better access and functionality and energy-efficient mechanical systems to Scott, Minnich and Stanton halls. These updates are part of the Miami University 2020 Plan, unveiled in 2012, which outlines enhancements throughout the university from academics to culture to infrastructure.

Scott Hall and Minnich Hall, which are on university’s Central Quad, began the renovation process in 2016 and reopened to students this month. Schematic design for the renovations at Stanton Hall, on the South Quad, are in progress, and that residence hall is scheduled to be completed in 2020. These renovation projects are valued at a combined $50 million and will be completed using design-build project delivery.

“The work GBBN and Messer are doing to these buildings with Woolpert is focused on preserving the Neo-Georgian architecture of the campus, but also is helping to keep the university competitive,” GBBN Senior Associate Andrew Plogsted said. “Students today have much higher expectations of their living spaces than in the past, and these renovations give them just that.”

Woolpert Structural Engineering Manager Frank Monastra said ensuring Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance and updating architectural and mechanical systems at each building to meet a consistent design standard have been key aspects of these projects.

“For Scott and Minnich, we cut holes in the floor to provide a new elevator shaft, added new areaways for louvers, support frames for mechanical units in attic and new ADA ramps, and converted a crawl space into a full-height basement space for storage and mechanical systems,” Monastra said. “These residence halls were built at varying times over the years, yet maintained similar structural frame systems. The university is investing in its vibrant learning environment by comprehensively integrating contemporary amenities, while maintaining the coherent, iconic look that defines the beautiful, historic campus.”

Woolpert has worked with Miami University since 2001, supplying civil engineering and landscape architecture services for a variety of projects. The international architecture, engineering and geospatial firm also has performed similar renovations at campuses across the country.

“Our experience has taught us how to adapt our structural design intent to actual conditions discovered in the field,” Monastra said. “With historic structures especially, you don’t really know what’s in there until you begin demolition. We frequently encounter obstacles in the field that were not noted on existing drawings and required us to revise our design with innovative solutions that are constructible and within budget. Being flexible and surrounded by a great design-build team allows us to get better with every project.”

About Woolpert
Woolpert is the fastest growing architecture, engineering and geospatial (AEG) firm in the country, delivering value to clients in all 50 states and around the world by strategically blending innovative design and engineering excellence with leading-edge technology and geospatial applications. With a dynamic research and development department, Woolpert works with inventive business partners such as Google and Esri; operates a fleet of planes, sensors and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS); and continually pushes industry boundaries by working with advanced water technologies, asset management, building information modeling (BIM) and sustainable design. The firm, which is among the ENR’s Top 100 Design Firms, supports a mission to help its clients progress and become more progressive. For over 100 years and with 26 offices across the U.S., Woolpert serves federal, state and local governments; private and public companies and universities; energy and transportation departments; and the U.S. Armed Forces. For more information, visit woolpert.com or call 937-531-1258.