Renovated Miller Hall dedicated on campus

The major renovation of Miller Hall at Western Washington University is complete, and a dedication ceremony was held for the building on campus Nov. 2.

The Miller Hall Renovation Dedication event included a ceremony in Miller Hall’s Collaborative Space and self-guided tours of the building. Speakers were Western President Bruce Shepard; Associated Students President Anna Ellermeier; Western vice president Steve Swan and Richard Van Den Hul; Mahlum architect Butch Reifert; Woodring College of Education Dean Francisco Rios; and Modern and Classical Languages Department Chair Vicki Hamblin.

The $51.5 million Miller Hall project, funded by the Washington State Legislature, renovated the 134,000 square-foot building, located on the university’s Red Square. The project included renovations to general university classrooms, computer labs, instructional space, offices and support facilities for Woodring College of Education, Department of Modern and Classical Languages and the Center for International Studies. All building systems (including electrical, mechanical, data, heating and air conditioning), elevators, roofing, windows and exterior elements for the aged building were replaced.

Miller Hall, originally WWU's Campus School, was built in 1943 and enlarged in 1968. Since then, no major renovation work had been done to the building prior to this project.

The Miller Hall building renovation generated 277 jobs directly related to the project construction and roughly 500 jobs total in Whatcom County, according to economic estimates based on “job years” (or the equivalent of one year of work per job). The project generated over $78 million in total local economic activity.

The building renovation has a strong green focus, incorporating a number of sustainable features. Windows are operable, mechanical systems in some areas use chilled beam cooling, and highly efficient lighting are combined with increased daylighting. “Deconstruction” took advantage of the salvage value of materials to recycle site and building waste to prevent useable materials from going into landfills. Where possible, the project team used recycled and recyclable products as well as products purchased locally, such as certified wood products from the Pacific Northwest.

A “green roof” was installed over the new Collaborative Space – where students can meet and study – built in the existing courtyard of Miller Hall. The green roof consists of a mat system of sedum plants, a flowering plant that requires little maintenance. The advantages of green roofs include: savings on heating and cooling costs; better sound insulation; reduction in storm water runoff and extra protection resulting in a longer roof lifespan.

The Miller Hall project was designed to achieve a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating of Silver or higher. LEED certification is a green building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The first phase of the building renovation began in the summer of 2009 and was completed at the end of summer 2010. During Phase I, occupants from the 1960's wing were moved into the 1940's wing and other temporary spaces around campus while the 1960’s wing was completely renovated. Phase II included renovation of the 1940’s wing, which includes the portion of the building that housed the former Campus School.

Dawson Construction of Bellingham was the general contractor and project construction manager. The project team also includes Mahlum Architects, Coughlin Porter Lundeen, civil and structural engineers; CDI Engineers, mechanical; Sparling, electrical and Berger Partnership, landscape architects.

WWU President Bruce Shepard and ASVP for Business and Operations Travis Peters unveil the plaque in honor of the newly renovated Miller Hall Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011.
Francisco Rios, the dean of Woodring College of Education, speaks at the Miller Hall dedication ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011.
Vicki Hamblin, executive firector of Western's Center for International Studies, speaks at the dedication and plaque ceremony for the newly renovated Miller Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011.
Travis Peters, the Associated Students' vice president for Business and Operations, speaks at the dedication and plaque ceremony for the newly renovated Miller Hall Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011.
Steve Swan, Western's vice president for University Relations, speaks at the dedication and plaque ceremony for the newly renovated Miller Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011.
Former WWU President Karen Morse and her husband, Joe, were among the attendees of the Miller Hall dedication ceremony Nov. 2 on campus. Photo by David Scherrer | for WWU
WWU President Bruce Shepard speaks at the dedication and plaque ceremony for the newly renovated Miller Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011.
A crowd of Campus School graduates, faculty, staff, students and community members packed the new student collaboration space in the old Miller Hall courtyard for the dedication of the renovated building on Nov. 2, 2011. Photo by Rhys Logan | University C
WWU President Bruce Shepard chats with attendees at the Miller Hall dedication ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011. Photo by David Scherrer | for WWU
Photo by David Scherrer | for WWU
At left, the oldest graduates of the Campus School. Photo by David Scherrer | for WWU
A crowd of Campus School graduates, faculty, staff, students and community members packed the new student collaboration space in the old Miller Hall courtyard for the dedication of the renovated building on Nov. 2, 2011. Photo by Rhys Logan | University C