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Dec. 8, 2011 Volume 33, No. 15

Gwynn Hall on deck for renovation


Construction expected to begin fall 2012

The growing tendency at today’s American colleges and universities, including Mizzou, is to overhaul existing space instead of construct new buildings from the ground up.

“We want to improve the academic performance of our facilities and believe the best way to do this on a limited budget is to renovate one building completely, improving the function of the building for the departments housed there as well as providing much-needed high-tech, centrally scheduled classrooms,” said Gary Ward, associate vice chancellor of facilities.

At MU, more than 30 core academic buildings are in need of renovation. Work on two of those buildings, Tate and Switzler halls on the Red Campus was finished this year, thanks to $19 million in bond revenue approved by the UM Board of Curators in June 2009.

On the White Campus, renovation plans are under way for Gwynn Hall, built in 1920 and current home to the College of Human Environmental Sciences.

Treanor Architects was hired in October and is scheduled to submit design documents Dec. 22. The project has been registered for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), an internationally recognized green building certification system.

Like Tate and Switzler, Gwynn Hall’s facelift will provide an ultramodern facility within a historic building. This project goes a step further, however. It allows for future reconfiguration through the use of demountable and reusable partition walls.

“We want to make this space usable for 2013 but also realize needs may change a few years from now,” said Mike Stornello, project manager of Gwynn Hall’s renovation.

“There will be hard walls in sections of the building, but interior walls within these sections will be demountable partitions, similar to office furniture that can be dismantled and moved with minimal conventional construction activity, time and waste when the space needs to be reconfigured or repurposed,” said Stornello, the first LEED-accredited project manager in Campus Facilities’ planning, design and construction area.

Gwynn Hall will be completely refurbished for a little more than $11 million. This includes gutting and revamping the 37,100-square-foot building, including faculty offices and three centrally scheduled classrooms.

Stephen Jorgensen, dean of human environmental sciences, said the college is contributing more than $1 million toward specialized laboratory and metabolic kitchen needs. The remaining cost will be paid with maintenance and repair funds.

“The metabolic kitchen is a research facility in which we can scientifically control the content of foods served to subjects participating in research projects that might relate to obesity prevention, diabetes prevention or metabolic syndrome, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure,” Jorgensen said.

“It will have a small dining room that contains observation equipment and a meal preparation area so that we know exactly the nutritional content of the meals in terms of calories, fats, carbohydrates or proteins.

Jorgensen said the remainder of HES’ funding will go toward:

• Creating high-tech laboratories for basic nutritional sciences and nutritional biochemistry research;

• Providing a climate-controlled environment for the college’s historic costume collection;

• Expanding the human subjects laboratory for basic nutrition and exercise research;

• Enhancing the Kellwood Apparel Production Laboratory, which already houses state-of-the-art equipment such as a textile printer, a plotter, fabric cutters, a body scanner and industrial-level sewing machines;

 • Providing furnishings for these spaces.

During the renovation, which Jorgensen estimates will take 15 months, the college will be scattered throughout campus. The main administrative offices will be housed in McReynolds Hall.

Campus Facilities plans to award a construction contract in September 2012, and construction will begin shortly thereafter.