Mackey Mitchell developed a residential life master plan for Truman State University, serving as a long-range road map for rejuvenating their on-campus housing facilities. Working with Anderson Strickler, MMA designed the majority of the work beginning with the 400-bed West Campus Suites, followed by renovation of the student union and three residence halls - Blanton Nason Brewer, Dobson and Ryle Halls. The five projects resulted in a total of 500,000SF which transformed and added space at a cost of $60 million over an eight year period.
In order to provide much needed swing space for future renovations, the first major project, West Campus Suites, provided housing for upperclassmen with a variety of social and study spaces, a classroom, convenience store, and main building lounge. For the renovation projects, the challenge was to balance the building's needs with new HVAC, lighting, power, plumbing, fire alarm and sprinkler systems; window and roof replacement; and new or upgraded elevators. To update amenities and programmatic functions for today’s students, the plan called for a variety of social and learning spaces, refreshed interior finishes, improved accessibility, and better access to residential life staff. A common goal throughout the process was to achieve maximum transformation within tight schedules and budgets.
During a ribbon cutting ceremony for one of the renovated residence halls, a student representative talked about the meaningful impact the refreshed housing facilities had on him. As one of the first students to live in West Campus Suites, the student shared how he and his suitemates created a journal, recording their shared res-life experiences. At year's end, they hid the journal, planting clues for the next group of residents to find and add their experiences, becoming a living document of the many students who lived there during their college years.
When studying and socializing with friends, residents can relax in comfortable lounges or play games and enjoy the weather in the large courtyard. Since it's been renovated, BNB has been home to many happy residents.
- Adam Demers
Department of Residence Life, Truman State University