Five Campuses Receive the ACUI Facility Design Award of Excellence

May 5, 2009

ACUI’s Facility Design Awards recognize excellence in design of college unions and other student-centered campus buildings. Entries were judged not only on the basis of the facilities’ appearance, but also on the process used to arrive at the design and how the new or renovated facility affected the campus. Five recipients were honored this year:

  1. The Collaborative Inc. – John L. and Christine Warner Library and Student Center, The Ohio State University–Newark/Central Ohio Technical College. The John L. and Christine Warner Library and Student Center is a “warm, nurturing, home-away-from-home” for the students of The Ohio State University-Newark/Central Ohio Technical College. The multitasking building provides student dining, lounges, a library, academic support, and a bookstore, as well as student affairs and faculty offices. “Working with Christine Warner, Central Ohio Technical College, and The Ohio State University to design the library and student center was a wonderful experience, and it’s very gratifying to have others recognize the results of our efforts together,” says Frank Beans, architect/partner, The Collaborative Inc.
  2. EYP Architecture & Engineering – Hunton Student Center, Virginia Commonwealth University. The renovation of the Hunton Student Center at Virginia Commonwealth University was extremely popular with students, says Erik Johnson, senior associate, EYP Architecture & Engineering. “It has fully met the originally stated project goals and has re-established the role of this historic structure as a vital center for student life.” Renovated areas include the rear building entrance, student lounge, student learning center, dining area, recreation area, and office space. University Student Commons and Activities Director Tim Reed is pleased with the result of the renovation and honored that the institution was recognized with this award. “The award validates our belief that saving this historical structure by creating a modern student center, while honoring its past as a church, was more than the right thing to do,” he says.
  3. Mackey Mitchell Architects – Ridgway Student Center, University of Evansville. Mackey Mitchell was able to provide the University of Evansville (IN) with the 62,000-square-foot Ridgway Student Center, built to LEED Silver specifications, which provided a “living room” for a campus very much in need. The building offers dining facilities, a bookstore, conference rooms, a counseling center, a lounge, a radio station, student publications, and a flexible ballroom. “We were thrilled to be among the winners of ACUI’s Facility Design Awards this year,” says John Burse, principal, Mackey Mitchell. “It’s especially meaningful to receive an award from an organization dedicated to the constant improvement of college unions nationwide. Students and faculty have expressed how much the Ridgway Student Center has contributed to student life on the University of Evansville campus. ACUI’s recognition also serves to confirm the success of the new center.”
  4. Workshop Architects – University Center, University of Wisconsin-River Falls. The University of Wisconsin-River Falls wanted a new union that would unify the campus, re-establish core values of the university, and meet the current needs of students. Workshop Architects was able to help achieve this goal. The new University Center is LEED Silver certified, located in the middle of campus, and meets all the needs of the campus community. “The University of Wisconsin is proud to accept the 2009 Facility and Design Award of Excellence for our new University Center,” says Gregg Heinselman, executive director of student services and programs. “The University Center truly reflects excellence in design of student-centered space, which has positively transformed our campus community.”
  5. WTW Architects – Dudley H. Davis Center, The University of Vermont. WTW Architects and the University of Vermont had two goals for the new Dudley H. Davis Student Center: reaffirm the university’s importance to the city of Burlington, VT, and the community, as well as improve the linkage between the two sides of campus that are divided by a main road. The resulting 217,000-square-foot facility not only met these needs, but also addressed the concern of sustainability by being the first college union in the United States to receive a LEED Gold designation. “We’re honored to be among the recipients of the ACUI Facility and Design Award,” says Patrick Brown, director. “The University of Vermont is proud of our new center, and the Davis Center staff work daily to live up to the LEED Gold certification we received.”

Founded in 1914, ACUI is a non-profit educational organization that brings together college union and student activities professionals from hundreds of schools in seven countries. Its members work on urban and rural campuses, in 2-year and 4-year institutions, and at large and small schools. They’re students and administrators whose mission is to build campus community. ACUI enriches them through education, advocacy, and the delivery of services.

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