To signal the completion of the multi-year phased renovation of Tri-Towers - and to show off the updated spaces - Kent State University hosted an open-house celebration on October 15th. Various faculty members recounted memorable moments of the renovation process, while resident assistants from each hall lead guided tours through each of the halls.
At project start-up, the University was at first unsure how to treat these residence halls, which date to 1968 and house roughly 1300 beds. Possibilities ranged from demolition of one or all of the halls to make way for new construction to a complete rehabilitation of the facilities. Eventually deciding upon rehabilitating the buildings, many design ideas were explored before deciding on the final design options.
The scope of the work included a complete overhaul of the HVAC systems, comprehensive repair of the exterior brick, replacement of all windows, modernizing the elevators, and cladding the exterior top floors of the halls with metal (representing energy savings while softening the outdated "high-rise" appearance of the façade). Student rooms were improved through updated interiors and furniture, as well as the installation of individual controls for HVAC. Ten student rooms at the top of Wright and Koonce were transformed into open study spaces, referred to as "Sky Lounges," and offer elevated views of the expansive campus.
With the Gilbane Building Company as Construction Manager, Domokur Architects provided full architectural services and interior design for the Tri-Towers Renovation. The renovation took place over three years, with the majority of the work being completed during two summer construction sessions. Initial infrastructure and site work began in 2012. Wright Hall was completely renovated over the summer of 2013, and the interiors of both Koonce and Leebrick were completed in time for student move-in weekend in 2014. Exterior and landscape work was completed by the first week of October.
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