Wheeler Hall is one of the primary academic and laboratory buildings on the SUNY Cobleskill Campus. architecture+ was selected to prepare a program study for Wheeler Hall in the Spring of 2001. The goal was to evaluate existing conditions, laboratory and classroom space needs and requirements, and provide renovation costs analysis. In 2006 we revised the study to meet the current budget and developed a phasing plan to allow the existing 58,000 square foot building to remain operational during construction of a new addition.
We were subsequently selected to design and provide construction administration services for a new addition and the renovation of the existing building. The 27,000 square foot $10.9 million addition, completed in 2009, houses laboratories for general chemistry, anatomy, biotechnology, microbiology, environmental technology, and analytical and organic chemistry.
The laboratories provide state-of-the-art instructional equipment, lab furnishings, data connections, ventilation systems, and accessible lab stations. Each lab is designed for maximum flexibility to accommodate changing academic programs and to allow external observation of laboratory work, thereby generating interest in the various fields of study. The addition contains new classrooms to accommodate the College’s need for larger classroom spaces.
The final phase included the complete $4.5 million rehabilitation of the existing building and included the replacement of the entire heating system and the introduction of an air conditioning system. The renovated space house classrooms and biology laboratories.
This project was designed to meet the criteria for LEED certification. The building systems were designed to optimize energy performance. The laboratories operate 28% more efficiently than standard laboratories. Sunshades and overhangs were integrated into the building design aesthetic to reduce solar heat gain and, consequently, the building’s cooling load.
“they bring humor and infinite patience to the table (anyone who has tried to work on a building that has to satisfy a dozen different faculty members knows exactly what I mean).”
Anne C. Myers, Ph.D., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, SUNY Cobleskill