Renovated Miller Hall set to open for fall quarter

Western Today staff
Monday, September 12, 2011 - 12:41pm

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Two new stairwells, one at each end of the building, allow for easy passage among floors in Miller Hall. Elevators also grant complete building access. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU
Two new stairwells, one at each end of the building, allow for easy passage among floors in Miller Hall. Elevators also grant complete building access. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU

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The renovated Miller Hall features many more opportunities to look out at the surrounding greenery. This view shows East College Way and the Sehome Arboretum. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU
The renovated Miller Hall features many more opportunities to look out at the surrounding greenery. This view shows East College Way and the Sehome Arboretum. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU

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The green roof, over the new Student Collaboration Space in what was the old building courtyard, is covered by low-maintenance sedum plants that offer heat and sound insulation to the space. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU
The green roof, over the new Student Collaboration Space in what was the old building courtyard, is covered by low-maintenance sedum plants that offer heat and sound insulation to the space. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU

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The entrance to the Human Services and Rehabilitation Department. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU
The entrance to the Human Services and Rehabilitation Department. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU

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The 1940s renovation to Miller Hall includes several classrooms, including this one. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU
The 1940s renovation to Miller Hall includes several classrooms, including this one. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU

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The main entrance to the building opens up to a display showing the history of Miller Hall. Display cases (not shown) also line the hallway. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU
The main entrance to the building opens up to a display showing the history of Miller Hall. Display cases (not shown) also line the hallway. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU

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The faculty lounge for the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU
The faculty lounge for the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU

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The Student Collaboration Space, initially opened this past school year, features new artwork. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU
The Student Collaboration Space, initially opened this past school year, features new artwork. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU

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Workers complete the installation of a plant irrigation system in the open area surrounding the new Student Collaboration Space in the former courtyard. Irrigation is fed by water collected from the building's green roof. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU
Workers complete the installation of a plant irrigation system in the open area surrounding the new Student Collaboration Space in the former courtyard. Irrigation is fed by water collected from the building's green roof. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU

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With the renovations to both the 1960s and 1940s wings complete, Miller Hall is set to fully reopen fall quarter. The 1960s wing was renovated during the summer of 2010, and the 1940s wing was renovated this past summer. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU
With the renovations to both the 1960s and 1940s wings complete, Miller Hall is set to fully reopen fall quarter. The 1960s wing was renovated during the summer of 2010, and the 1940s wing was renovated this past summer. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU

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The floor in this classroom, in what was part of the old Campus School gymnasium, pays homage to the space's former use. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU
The floor in this classroom, in what was part of the old Campus School gymnasium, pays homage to the space's former use. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU

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The entry to the Department of Secondary Education in Miller Hall. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU
The entry to the Department of Secondary Education in Miller Hall. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU

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With the renovations to both the 1960s and 1940s wings complete, Miller Hall is set to fully reopen fall quarter. The 1960s wing was renovated during the summer of 2010, and the 1940s wing was renovated this past summer. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU
With the renovations to both the 1960s and 1940s wings complete, Miller Hall is set to fully reopen fall quarter. The 1960s wing was renovated during the summer of 2010, and the 1940s wing was renovated this past summer. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU

Major Renovation Project Includes Many Sustainable Features

The major renovation of Western Washington University’s Miller Hall has been completed, and the building will open for fall quarter.

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.

“This significant renovation of Miller Hall, one of our campus’ most iconic buildings, will result in a substantially improved educational facility and place of learning for our students,” said Western President Bruce Shepard.

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 is 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 Student Collaboration 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 1960s wing were moved into the 1940s wing and other temporary spaces around campus while the 1960s wing was completely renovated. Phase II included renovation of the 1940s wing, which includes the portion of the building that housed the former Campus School.

The only portion of the building that will not open for fall quarter are classrooms in the 1940s wing, which will open for use for winter quarter.

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.

On Nov. 2, a renovation re-dedication event – open to the public and campus community – will be held at Miller Hall.

Photo:

Two new stairwells, one at each end of the building, allow for easy passage among floors in Miller Hall. Elevators also grant complete building access. Photo by Matthew Anderson | WWU