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Creating a 21st Century Learning Environment in a 19th Century Structure

May 22, 2017 University of Iowa Marston Hall Renovation COAA presentation


The Iowa State University Marston Hall Renovation project team presented at the Construction Owners Association of America (COAA) 2017 Spring Owners Leadership Conference this past week. The team included Kerry Anne Dixon and Russ Dodson of Iowa State University, Mindy Aust of Substance Architecture, and Mortenson’s Dave DeGroot. 

Marston Hall is one of the oldest structures on the Iowa State University campus, dating back to the 1900s. Throughout the past century the building was gradually modified, resulting in small, administrative spaces that replaced the original classroom learning spaces. The session, titled “Creating a 21st Century Learning Environment in a 19th Century Structure” featured the renovation process, the unique challenges the team faced, and how they overcame structural issues while maintaining the buildings original presence. 

Marston Hall is currently occupied by the College of Engineering. The renovation included significant modifications to the existing structure of the building, while preserving the exterior stone façade. Upgrades were made to interior finishes as well as the mechanical, electrical, and elevator equipment. The building program includes a 172-seat auditorium and large classrooms and instructional support areas.