Barton Malow provided preconstruction and construction management services for this 88,000 SF academic building located in the heart of MSU’s campus. Wells Hall, a major hub of teaching and learning, and the new addition, bring together units in the College of Arts & Letters - strengthening collaboration by co-locating. The addition replaced the irreparable Morrill Hall and offers the University a unique opportunity to significantly upgrade the quality of space, and achieve a more efficient use of space through effective design and allocation.

The vertical 3-story addition spans across the existing B-wing and includes a 2-story atrium, a coffee shop to promote faculty and student interactions, three new classrooms and language labs, a presentation auditorium with custom shades and sensors, a blend of private and open office environments, and a clear east-west corridor that invites people into and through the building. Also included is a 1-story section that extends out toward Red Cedar Road that is topped by a green roof.

Construction of Wells Hall was not as simple as it may sound. The vertical and horizontal expansion to the existing one-story facility required drilling over 100 micro-piles under and threading 8 columns through the existing structure to support the 3-story addition. The vertical addition was placed at a 31 degree angle to the existing structure. All of this was accomplished within very tight site constraints while keeping the adjacent A and C wings fully operational.

Effective logistics planning, scheduling and communication allowed work to safely continue on the upper levels of the building through the semester while classes and numerous campus activities were in session. Safety was of utmost importance on this site, as construction took place between two fully operational campus buildings.

Watch this video highlighting how the construction team completed this successful project.

Todd Ketola

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