Dunbar Hall Renovation


      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 is now complete, and the project is on track for completion during Spring semester 2024.  The Christman Company has been engaged as the Construction Manager to oversee construction activities, which began in February of 2022.


The final design serves as a campus connector, it's 11,000 s.f. glass addition visible from Fountain Plaza and the future Hilltop Village.  The building houses the University's College of Arts and Sciences, and features a cutting-edge podcasting, journalism and broadcasting suite, active learning classrooms and a state-of-the-art dance studio, all surrounded by informal learning spaces and commons areas for students to congregate and collaborate.  Energy-efficient construction and other 'green' features (including two living, vegetative roofs) contribute to the desire for a LEED Gold certified building.


  • A place that offers opportunity through spontaneous interaction for learning, connecting and expression
  • A place that is a home to diverse traits and is inviting for all
  • A place that minimizes impact to the environment
  • A place that is efficient and flexible that supports multimodal interaction and active learning
  • A place that is a connector to the larger community through strengthening interior and exterior relationship
  • A place that is safe and secure that supports maximum building activation


The interior palette was developed to create an inviting, comfortable and organic feel, taking advantage of the natural light afforded by the new addition.  Warm woods and a muted color palette create a natural vibe and form a backdrop for spectacular outdoor views, allowing the inside and outside to merge.


Keep up to date on the building progress with our live construction camera and 7-day time lapse!


Our construction fence is officially down, and we are resorting to temporary fencing and barricades to manage access to the building until it is open for business!  See the site logistics plan for impact to the surrounding area.  

Contact Us

Questions regarding the Dunbar Hall Renovation project should be directed to Rory Murphy, Project Manager:  rory.m.murphy@wmich.edu or (269) 387-8542.