Dunbar Hall, built in 1971 as part of a complex of three buildings, is slated to undergo a $40M renovation over the next several years. Dunbar is one of the most heavily used classroom buildings on campus and is home to over a dozen academic programs. Together with Friedmann and Knauss Halls, the trio of structures was developed as a reaction to a booming enrollment at the University during the 1960s, in an attempt to meet the growing demand for classroom space. At five and a half stories and approximately 78,000 s.f., the building has served the University well over its almost fifty-year lifetime.
The project involves a complete renovation, stripping the building down to its structural skeleton and creating an interior that meets today’s contemporary educational needs. The University has partnered with Tower Pinkster and HGA, tapping into the combined team’s higher education experience and expertise to develop a state-of-the-art, 21st century learning environment for our students. The project will include reconfigured classroom layouts, student workspaces and major technology upgrades for teaching and learning. In addition to the architectural renovations, the existing utility infrastructure, shared with Friedmann and Knauss Halls, will be upgraded to maximize energy efficiency and better align with WMU’s sustainability mission. The design process began in the Summer of 2019, but was put on hold in March 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic. Design has since resumed, and the project is on track for a Fall 2023 completion. The Christman Company has been engaged as the Construction Manager to oversee construction activities, which will begin in December of 2021.
Town Hall Meeting
WMU and our design team, HGA and TowerPinkster, held the second (of three) Town Hall meetings in early 2020 to garner input from the campus community on the latest design concepts. Take a look at the presentation--we think it's starting to look pretty amazing!!
Also, the team facilitated an interactive online poll to gauge reactions to the design ideas. Comments from 'love love love the peaceful natural vibe' and 'the green roof rocks!' to 'ugly bushes on north side' and 'I worry about long route for disabled access from Sprau/Brown side' were thoughtful and helpful as we move into the next phases of design.
SITE LOGISTICS PLAN
Abatement of hazardous materials and selective interior demolition began on July 26, 2021 and will continue through November 1, 2021. Though currently just a small portion of the area is cordoned off, all of the construction fencing will be in place by August 16th and will remain through the duration of the construction. See the site logistics plan for impact to the surrounding area.