Photo by Michael Slack

Renovation Gives College Better ROI than New Construction

Lecture hall modernizes interior and improves student accessibility

By FacilitiesNet Staff  

In a post-pandemic uncertain economy, campus planners and facilities directors at large public universities are focused on value. Rather than new construction, organizations can get better return on investment from renovations and adaptive reuse projects.   

The latest example of this ROI is the work by JZA+D at Montclair State University in northern New Jersey. The major renovation of a 100-plus seat lecture space in Calcia Hall enhances student experience and improves accessibility.   

The existing space needed an update to remove water staining and replace the seating and the dated purple theme. Additionally, the original 124-seat room featured a projection booth at the back – almost entirely unused in recent years – plus unsightly HVAC wall units and essentially no features for ADA compliance – particularly egregious considering the seating area is steeply sloped. 

The renovation result of the 1,600-square-foot lecture hall is both cost-effective and highly impactful. 

Lights for learning 

New lighting for the space includes recessed downlights overhead, cove lighting along the aisles and some decorative linear LEDs integrated into the acoustic panels on the side walls. (Photo by Michael Slack, courtesy JZA+D) 

Improving accessibility  

Because reducing the slope would not be possible, the decision was made to introduce ADA-compliant seating at the auditorium’s rear near the primary entrance, replacing the underutilized projection booth. (Photo by Michael Slack, courtesy JZA+D) 

Easy seating 

The design centers all seating and locates aisles on either side. The new red seating and paneling is inspired by the school colors. (Photo by Michael Slack, courtesy JZA+D)

High-tech amenities  

The new space includes accommodations for new audiovisual equipment, HVAC upgrades for occupant health and comfort, and new seating specifications. (Photo by Michael Slack, courtesy JZA+D) 

Ready for renovation 

Before renovation, the lecture hall was dated and not accessible to all students. (Photo courtesy JZA+D) 

Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »

  posted on 5/28/2024   Article Use Policy

Related Topics: