As part of the transformation of student life envisioned by Valparaiso University’s campus master plan, the design-build team of FGM and Mortenson Construction were engaged to provide a new student residence hall located at the main entry gate along the northern edge of the campus. The $27 million, 85,000 square-foot Beacon Residence Hall houses 290-beds across four floors.
The building’s collegiate Gothic architecture compliments the campus housing aesthetic and includes four-, six-, and eight-bed suites. Other features include common rooms, study spaces, multipurpose rooms, laundry rooms, kitchenettes, a great room, ping-pong and billiards room, and an outdoor courtyard.
Many lean practices were incorporated on the job, including:
- Time-Saving Prefab Bathrooms Pods
- 100% Entirely Pre-Cast Structure
- Pull Planning Schedule Process
Because the residence hall is located on an active college campus, disruption avoidance was a key component to the success of the project. To accomplish this, the team worked dilligently to maintain the Valparaiso University student experience by utilizing special strategies to avoid disruptions to the nearby students. This included noise restrictions during certain times of day and providing offsite parking to keep the immediate vicinity of the project clear of obstructions. An added challenge to the construction was that an existing data feed ductbank which served the entire University happened to run through the jobsite. Careful consideration was taken to ensure the ductbank remained protected. As a result, the project was "built around" the ductbank, eliminating any risk of disruption or damage to the feed.
The project is built to LEED Silver Standards, but not seeking certification.