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Southern Methodist University Projects

Campus master plan includes new construction, green building, renovations

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Donation-supported, new projects keep moving forward at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Image: Hahnfeld Hoffer Stanford
Hahnfeld Hoffer Stanford and Turner Construction Co. of Dallas will complete the renovations at Umphrey Lee Center; shown, the new banquet facility.
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Caruth Hall replaces an aging building, and Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall will serve a growing School of Education and Human Development, says Philip Jabour, executive director of the Office of Planning, Design, and Construction at SMU.

The university has “wealthy alumni and is improving the campus,” says David R. Stanford, project designer for Hahnfeld Hoffer Stanford of Fort Worth, which designed the new buildings and a renovation of the ballroom at the university’s Umphrey Lee Center. The firm has completed about nine projects for SMU.

“Everything on the SMU campus is collegiate-Georgian,” says Stanford, adding that the buildings appear traditional from the outside but inside feature the latest technology.

Hahnfeld Hoffer Stanford held design charrettes with university officials. “In the design process, we start with programming,” Stanford says.

The university’s board of trustees has established that all new buildings must meet LEED-silver certification, “which helps show our support of green building,” Jabour says.

Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall?Rogers O’Brien Construction of Dallas began construction in October on the $10-million, 45,000-sq-ft Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall, consolidating the School of Education’s facilities in one building. The three-story building should be substantially complete in July, in time for the start of the fall semester.

“We’re ahead of schedule,” says Leon Davis, senior project manager for Rogers O’Brien.

Crews worked some weekends and changed the water-proofing materials so the project could be dried in earlier than planned, adds Marcus McShan, project manager with Rogers O’Brien.

Seventy-eight piers, reaching to depths of 30 ft, and grade beams support the basement. A crawl space exists under the rest of the three levels of cast-in-place concrete and structural-steel mechanical attic. Brick veneer clads the exterior and Vermont slate the roof.

The site offers limited space for material laydown, and so the contractor is using just-in-time delivery.

The project is tracking for LEED-gold certification. Green features include use of fly ash in the concrete, low-flow fixtures and a rainwater collection system that will provide gray water for irrigation. Rogers O’Brien is recycling more than 90% of the construction waste.

As part of the project, Rogers O’Brien also will realign University Boulevard north of Simmons Hall.

Caruth Hall?The $20-million Caruth Hall will be the third building for the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering.

“It’s become a gateway to the engineering quad,” Stanford says.

Austin Commercial of Dallas demolished the former 1950s-era Caruth Hall in September 2008 and began excavation for the new three-story structure.

“The original Caruth Hall met its useful life,” Jabour says. The university decided to demolish the building and build a 64,000-sq-ft facility because of cost and additional space needs, he adds.

The basement walls sit on a pier foundation. The building also features a cast-in-place concrete frame topped with a structural-steel mechanical attic, which Stanford says was the most economical to build.

The exterior features brick, white cast stone and stone columns and cornices. Gables grace the pitched, slate-shingle roof. A functioning, glass-fiber-reinforced concrete copula opens to the lobby rotunda, 85 ft below, drawing natural light into the interior. It also features an outdoor amphitheater.

“It will be beautiful when finished,” says Christopher Andews, project manager with Austin Commercial. The project was substantially complete in April.


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