Over the planning phase of the new building, the working title for the building has been the Student Experience Center (SEC). Before that time gets carved into stone (literally), the planning and policy committee wants input from the community it there are other options. So be a part of history, give us your suggestions for a name of the new building and also a name for the covered plaza between the Memorial Union and the new building. The only rule is that it cannot be named after a person. Fill out the online form at mu.oregonstate.edu/name. Deadline is March 15th.
Archives for Construction
Schematic design floor plans, including the discussion that took place during the restart meetings with media and thecraft center.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
MU East Wing
While reviewing renovation options and cost effective strategies earlier this week, committee members, alongside Opsis architects, and Anderson engineers focused on maximizing leasable space while creating an open, experientially pleasing feel.
MU conversation highlighted committee direction. Is retail space in or out relative to the north end? Will rooms be successful and programmatically useful at their current size? Many questions arose, however top priority was awarded to the cultural kitchen under the pretense that concluding that space would allow for build out.
Homework for the next week will be the resolution of program placement in an effort to lock in individual spatial needs. Concurrently, Opsis will create a package of organized options defining expectations and scoping documents.
Craft Center representatives came prepared for their meeting with Opsis, equipped with a presentation highlighting all concerns, necessities, and wishes. Among many ideas presented came the preference for an LCD screen on the first floor in an effort to increase their presence throughout the building. Additionally designs were suggested for a mini store, gift gallery, and student/faculty storage among many foundational necessities.
With this information at hand, Opsis and Anderson will calculate cost difference while Craft Center representatives examine general options presented to them for the closest fit.
After looking over notes supplied by the SAPC, Opsis incorporated changes into SEC layout. Though concerns were voiced about maximum space capacities for offices, architects were quick to remind all that the building is still in the allocating stage. Once that is polished, committees will begin looking at individual group arrangements.
Questions concerning the first floor were appeased, as it was decided that the stair-style seating area would be removed, with the possibility of a food cart in its place. Additionally, in what may have been one of the most controversial discussions, it was decided that the International Resource Center would be placed in what was once retail space.
An area that hasn’t received much attention in this blog, the plaza between the MU and SEC, was highlighted during the meeting. Discussion focused on the need for a fire lane, permanent benches to help define the space, possible stage locations, stage cover and power box locations. The covered portion of the plaza will be around 60 feet by 135 feet or 8,400 square feet; however, to further plan for the space architects will need a cleared idea of what it will be used for.
Opsis showed new floor plans for the fourth floor of the SEC to Student Media and requested feedback on their incorporation of warranted changes. A few issues arose such as the problem of mixed light coming into the TV studio, the edit bay size, need for a widow between the two radio studios, a window in the control room and the placement of a TV screen on the first floor to stream what is happening on the fourth floor.
Additionally, Student Media began discussion about a possible change of location of the stairwell which would benefit them, but sparks concern of how it would affect the arrangement of rooms on the fourth floor.
Updated news on the antenna/microwave dish on the roof of the SEC revealed a strong possibility of the antenna tower finding a home atop a different building. If the tower does end up on the SEC, it will be a simple pole, rising forty feet in the air, not the traditional tower currently residing on Snell Hall.
Opsis started this workshop with a review of the SEC project. The design incorporates several components, historic appearance, campus flow of people, LEED certification, campus master plan and the principles of universal design.
Each floor of the building was highlight and reviewed, indicating various ADA elements incorporated into the design. Concerns from students included campus parking, ADA access from other parts of the campus to the building, ADA access on campus during construction and renovation, and emergency exits from the workspace. Other circumstances warranting attention were; location of bike parking in front of the SEC blocking foot and wheelchair flow into the building, size of restroom turn-a-round space, adaptable workspaces, and entrance over hands to cover students as they enter the building.
On Wednesday, April 25th, Opsis Architecture, Andersen Construction and OSU Construction Management meet with Student Experience Center and Memorial Union East Wing renovation committees. The focus was restarting the planning process after a break of a little more than year. Below are notes from the three group meetings. These meetings will reoccur every other week into June.
Student Experience Center
Last week marked a crucial point in design development as meetings between architects and various project committees commenced. Current effort is focused on both budget and the re-orientation of project understanding and adaptability which was stunted earlier last year during the design/programming phase. Fortunately decisions that need to be made concerning the Student Experience Center budget doesn’t appear to be impacting floor plans or square footage, but have more to do with materials, structure, furnishings, finishing, etc.
Each floor plan was reviewed for any significant changes that may have procured over the six month break, which revealed two obvious adjustments in building layout. The HSRC will no longer be located in the facility and questions have been surfaced concerning whether the mediation room will be a tenant of the SEC or MU. With that in mind, decisions about the vacant space left behind by the HSRC and determination about the mediation room location will be at the forefront of Space Allocation Committee conversations over the next two weeks.
James Meyer, Head Project Architect from Opsis provided the committee with a tentative timeline revealing the upcoming campus planning committee at the end of June and Historic Review Commission soon after. Construction is projected to begin in the fall with the intention of a January 16th 2015 completion date.
For the next two weeks, the committee will concentrate on further examination of layout and the “Detailed Project Program” book. Questions, concerns, and alterations will need to be communicated as soon as possible in order to revise assumptions on current spatial needs and desires.
MU East Wing Renovation
On April 25th, the MU East Wing Committee and Architects from Opsis assembled to discuss the most difficult yet pertinent issue in any construction project, the budget. With legislature permitting a maximum amount of $9,177,500 for the project and ACCO projected costs amounting to $14,733,588, drastic cuts are warranted.
Due to its smaller renovation, the Memorial Union has a much more challenging delta than the Student Experience Center. A refresher in site/building analysis opened up discussion of possible changes in programming and schematic designs that could alleviate financial pressure. These consisted of tenant locations, as well as overall facility furnishing, engineering, and floor plan. The reorientation of project details is significant in that it affects both the large concern, being the Historical Review, and small yet noteworthy points such as duct work and ceiling consistencies.
Discussion on the construction of the second Ballroom was long-lasting as ideas flowed concerning space partitioning, external features and acoustical criteria. The thought behind this, and all other aspects of the renovation, is to include the least amount of things possible in an attempt to avoid future manipulations and increase room flexibility.
Another important aspect of the MU renovation is the accessibility and connectivity of the facility. With the addition of new stairs to increase pedestrian flow as well as a mezzanine level exit, elevator, and expanded Jefferson street entrance, the renovated east wing is planned to be one of the most user-friendly places on campus.
Over the next few weeks, it will be the primary priority of the Mu East Wing Committee to examine every aspect of the renovation project and find what can be cut out or done in a different way. The meeting on Wednesday wasn’t meant for decision making but instead the brainstorming of possible modifications. Finding 30-40% of the budget is quite the job but as James Meyers, Head Architect of Opsis said, “It’s a big number, which just means we need big ideas about what to do.”
Student Media Center (SEC 4th Floor)
A Meeting on April 25th between Student Media and architects from Opsis examined priorities for construction progress over the next couple of weeks. On Wednesday, primary attention was spent on scope perception and the understanding of technology deliverance and appliance. At this time, input is exceedingly valuable, where as in six months it will be more difficult to incorporate into the project.
Discrepancies in the rough floor plan and schematic final were revealed, illuminating a need for the review and resolution of layout desires. Current plans feature an open space with areas of privacy for ad sales and confidential conversations.
As of today, time is being taken to further discuss the details, and a document is being drawn up of adjacencies and so forth. Over the next two weeks project leaders will work to confirm that the most recent spreadsheet is correct while architects look over discrepancies and create images of open and private offices.
As the Oregon Legislature begins its month long session this week, one of the items before it is the approval for OSU to sell bond for purposed building projects, including the student backed “Student Experience Center” to replace the structurally unsound Snell Hall. Building funds have already been approved; the Legislature just needs to approve the sale of bonds to begin construction.
The Corvallis Gazette Times had an article yesterday explaining the process. You can read it at this link.
One more step forward in the planning process for the Student Experience Center (SEC). Last week, the Campus Design group approved the canopy cover for the plaza between the SEC and the Memorial Union.
The Campus Design committee would like some issues accommodated in the design:
1. The separation between the “walk-zone” and the “event space” will have to become more pronounced. We don’t want to confuse people by having them walk under the canopy thru the event space sometimes, then have to change their route if an event is occurring. There are several ways to do this, perhaps it would be the choice of material for the pathway, like in the brick mall and link up pathways.
2. The area that is to be the walk-way will not end up being covered by the canopy. The only exception is we may try and provide rain protection between the SEC and the canopy.
3. The Campus Design group is still working to resolve the ADA parking issues around this campus area, but at a minimum, we are obligated to replace six ADA parking spaces.
4. The south edge of the plaza at Jefferson will also be redesigned to accommodate the changes mentioned above.
All in all, these are good outcomes that will improve the accessibility of everyone on campus to make moving around and through this area easier.
The Oregon Legislature needed to approve of the SEC/MU project to give OUS the authorization to proceed with bond sales and therefore the construction. For the past several weeks, we have been answering questions about the project, as legislative members on the House Ways and Means Capital Construction Committee raised them with OSU officials. I regret to inform you that the committee failed to include the SEC/MU project in HB5006. This will cause us a significant delay that will postpone the completion of our Design Development Phase scheduled to begin in July for an undetermined number of months and also delay construction completion beyond our desired summer of 2013. The failure to approve of a non-State funded construction project is unusual. I cannot recall a similar situation in my twenty-five years, but there’s a first time for everything.
The delay has many complicating side effects that we are still trying to measure. The most important message that I can give you now is that we will not give up pursuing what the students of the institution have legitimately approved through their vote. We have followed every procedural expectation over the five-year path to get to this point. Likewise, we must also learn to adjust our planning with this delay…no matter how much we each may feel the disappointment or dislike the effects. Today will feel insignificant when we compare it to the elation of stepping into these new program homes for the first time or the benefits that will come from the collaborations and improved resources for highly valued student experiences
Michael Henthorne, Director OSU Memorial Union
There have been updates to both the Consulting Firm’s Minutes link and the Construction Committee link. Both are at the top of the SEC & MU Planning & Construction homepage. The minutes on the Consulting Firm’s link are from Opsis Architect’s last visit. They include proposal for the layout of the SEC, what has been referred to as “Blocking & Stacking”. These can give you a working idea of how the building might be organized. There are also pictures of student committee members providing impute on the different concepts.
On the Construction Committees link is minutes from their last meeting were they discussed the use of under floor ductwork and LEED Certification standards and options. There will be more on the under floor system in the next post. They have also posted a presentation by consultants for energy-efficient and sustainable buildings. Giving the committee members more background and knowledge as we move closer to the construction phase.
The SEC Construction Committee received a tour of the Linus Pauling Science Center. The tour was conducted by Andersen Construction the general contractor for the LPSC and will also be the general contractor for the SEC. The Andersen’s principal plays for the SEC project were all there to answer question.
How many of you saw the movie “Field of Dreams”? Remember the in end of the film when James Earl Jones’ character gets invited into the cornfield where the baseball players go? Into the Great Unforeseen? Remember how he first sticks a hand into the corn, feeling the leaves, then quickly withdraws it, giggling nervously? Then, he walks bravely into his future while the camera does a cutaway back to the present.
That’s where we are, Right Now. Our design efforts have been like a whole covey of James Earl Jones characters reaching into that cornfield, grasping onto nothing, giggling, nervously, waiting for answers to our questions about where we’ll end up and what we’ll do and who’ll be in there and who won’t.
What? Why is that?
The answer is that we have not completed Step One yet. So, at present, we find ourselves still standing on the edge of that cornfield, peering in, while waiting for whatever comes next.
What exactly does come next?
Remember, we are James Earl Jones here. We have to let the ballplayers guide us into the future. We have to finish gathering and providing information to the architect team so they can begin converting that information into sizes and shapes in space. That conversion process then comes back to us to review, suggest, change and finally ensure it is accurate enough to complete Step One, which is when we begin to discover the size, shape and layout of the building. Then, having completely entered that cornfield, that Great Unknown, we will be able to see what our efforts have gained us in vision and certainty.
Then what, you might ask?
Step Two is further investment into the process of making the form of the building take shape. We team up with the ballplayers (B&D), and stride further into the cornfield, hoping to determine whether all that initial fear and nervousness was warranted when the corn leaves first tickled our forearms and we felt alone, nervous and uncertain.
What exactly are we doing here?
We are participating in that age-old phrase, “Form Follows Function”. We are making the building take form. Together with B&D (the ballplayers), we are giving the building its shape as we work the information collection process and meet to discuss and verify our collective vision.
This is how that is done for every building, though most efforts don’t attract quite this size of a stakeholder crowd. So our work is like baseball in another sense: there we stand in right field. The other stakeholders are in their positions in the infield, in center field, behind home plate: chewing gum, squinting into the sun, waiting for the windup to begin…the sun is warm, a bee is grazing nearby clover, the sky is so blue it hurts your eyes to look at it (Moonlight Graham, right, Julia?)…then – CRACK! A LINE DRIVE COMING YOUR WAY! It’s your turn to make a decision! What do you say?
If you want a building to learn how to be, you have to pay its tuition in making decisions. This small piece of writing is like that. Why did I pick the cornfield? I needed a symbol to convey the utter powerlessness we have to control the future. The future is unknown to us. Or as one of my favorite authors put it:
“The future is no more controllable than it is predictable. The only reliable attitude to take towards the future is that it is profoundly, structurally unavoidably perverse. The rest of the iron rule is: whatever you are ready for, doesn’t happen; whatever you are unready for, does.” -Stewart Brand
So this exercise we are engaged in is the first step towards identifying our future. All we know for certain now is 4 walls and a roof. The rest comes one step at a time.
Andersen Construction of Portland has been selected to construct the Student Experience Center (SEC). They have a lot of experience working on the OSU campus, most recently their projects have included:
Linus Pauling Science Center
OSU Energy Center
Arnold Dining Hall Renovation
They feel that the keys to the success of the SEC project include:
Empowered on-site team
Advocate for students
Keep OSU “open for business”
Deliver GMP that meets OSU’s expectations
Meet OSU’s timetables
Bring an earth friendly, sustainable project
Proactive to City’s requirements & concerns
One of the Andersen team for this project is Hayley Brown, who graduated from the OSU in Construction Engineering Management program last June. Part of Hayley’s duties will be to work with student groups, advocate for students and lines of communication between OSU students and Andersen Construction. Here is their website.
Eleven architectural firms from across the United States submitted proposals for designing the new student campus building, the Student Experience Center (SEC) and related Memorial Union remodel. The group was narrowed down to five firms that were invited campus to present to the committee of student leaders and staff. The firm chosen was OPSIS Architecture of Portland, Oregon. OPSIS Architecture is committed to design excellence, sustainable practices, and working in an open environment where shared ideas lead to collaborative vision-making. We seek out the potential within each project to create architecture that is both innovative and enduring and is distinguished by its specific response to context, program, and culture. We emphasize a commitment to inclusive design, place making, environmental sensitivity, and craftsmanship.
Their consulting partners in this project are:
Interior Design: OPSIS Design, Portland Oregon
Historical Preservation: Peter Meijer Architect, PC, Portland Oregon
Higher Education Consultant: Brailsford & Dunlavey, Washington DC
Technology Consultant: Sparling, Portland Oregon
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: PAE Consulting Engineers, Portland Oregon
Structural Engineer: KPFF Consulting Engineers, Portland OR
Civil Engineer: Balzhiser & Hubbard Engineers, Eugene Oregon
Landscape Architecture: Walker Macy, Portland Oregon
The construction firm will be chosen in January 2011.