McKinley Architecture and Engineering led the team that designed the $30 million “University Terrace” College Apartments Housing Complex for Fairmont State University. The project includes construction of a new housing complex on an existing parking lot, followed by the demolition of 4 current wood frame three-story apartment buildings which were beyond their lifespan, and new parking lots will be built on the site of the former apartment buildings. There are currently 216 beds in the existing college apartments; we are increasing the number of beds to 345. The demolition and construction was well-planned so that there was as little downtime as possible for available student housing accommodations. This project kicked off with programming meetings, where we got the Owner’s input to develop a priority list that was used as a guideline throughout the entire design phase. Defining this from the start was important, for it set a tone for the project, where every entity was on board from the beginning, and we helped transform FSU’s ideas into realities. This 3 building complex had a Ground-breaking Ceremony on April 16, 2015. Since the conditions and availability of student housing was of high importance to the University, this project was a high priority. Two of the three new structures consist of four-story metal and steel frame buildings with CMU stair and elevators towers; these two buildings are linked with a glass enclosed connector. These 2 buildings were finished and occupied by students in July 2016. A third building on the site is three-stories and is constructed of the same materials; construction was completed in October 2016, and is also occupied by students. The total size of all of the structures is 105,706 SF. With this new complex, the hope is that potential students will see this facility and will want to come to this University. Students want state-of-the-art facilities; they love new. The Apartments were designed to provide a welcoming, comfortable and home-like environment that will be conductive to the achievement of individual goals while also establishing a sense of community for student growth and interaction.
University Terrace will provide fully furnished living space to students; this living space will consist of both apartment and suite-style living. There are 103 units in the 3 buildings, including 41 quads, 14 doubles, 35 semi suites, and 13 singles; there are multiple ADA Compliant rooms. These all have their own bedroom, living, kitchen, and bathroom spaces (but semi-suites have a shared bathroom). There is WI-FI throughout the buildings. There are multiple lobbies, lounges, multi-purpose spaces, study halls, laundry rooms, elevators and stairwells, and more. There are staff spaces, a Residence Director office, and RD double apartment. The support spaces include rooms for plumbing/fire protection, electrical, data/telecom, housekeeping and maintenance storage. The buildings are located on the west, north and east sides of the site; creating a large courtyard for student functions, which includes landscaping and hardscaping along with a small amphitheater. The goal was to incorporate a space for students to congregate; to create a gathering space that creates a sense of community. There are many energy-efficient design elements throughout the apartments. For example, we designed for this to be one of the first buildings in West Virginia with all LED interior and exterior lighting, and the bid came in for the same cost as conventional florescent lighting. Furthermore, some additional electrical features include an energy monitoring system on the main switchboards, receptacles with integrated USB chargers, the systems which will have lower maintenance, etc. For interior design & FF&E; specific color and texture selections on the floors, walls, ceilings, and furnishings will enhance the lighting in the space, will create a comfortable home-like atmosphere, and were made with a focus on incorporating a neutral toned color palette and fresh accents to offer interest and contrast while establishing a timeless base that will avoid becoming tired or dated. All material and finish selections, in addition to meeting practical criteria, also consider sustainability aspects.
Education, Higher Education
3 Building Complex 105,706 GSF
Thomas R. Worlledge
AIA, LEED AP BD+C, REFP