Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and one of the oldest buildings on campus (1873), Merrick Hall originally provided space for the university's science classes and alumni hall. Because of its age, the building was in need of extensive masonry and interior renovations. In 2013, Mackey Mitchell was commissioned to conduct a facility condition assessment, facilitate programming of functional spaces and develop a transformative interior design intended to breathe new vitality into this fine example of Greek Revival architecture. In addition to exterior envelope improvements, basic upgrades included enhanced accessibility, new life-safety and MEP systems, and technology infrastructure.
Merrick Hall’s location provided an opportunity to re-establish the building as a prominent student-centered destination. The first floor is now home to OWU Connection, where students work with advisors to design their own co-curricular program. Glass partitions separate lounge and meeting spaces while providing a feeling of connectivity. A variety of flexible learning spaces on the second floor provide lecture style, active learning, and small group classrooms with breakout spaces. With its soaring ceiling, exposed wood roof trusses, and large windows, Merrick's top floor has become the university's premier gathering place. The room is used for quiet study, lectures, and banquets, and is supported by a new catering kitchen. In order to strengthen the building's campus connection, the main entry was moved and a new patio now faces the quad.
Merrick Hall had been moth-balled for nearly 25 years. The historic building has now been stabilized and fundamentally transformed. It is once again the vibrant landmark at the heart of OWU’s campus and will continue serving the academic needs of students in a variety of ways well into the 21st century. According to Dan Hitchell, Vice President for Finance and Administration, "The project opened on time and under budget. But even more importantly, it has achieved the University's goal of providing a home for the OWU Connection, innovative teaching spaces and an elegant meeting space."
Mackey Mitchell's visionary design laid the groundwork for success. Their leadership and patient work with the OWU community resulted in a facility that will play a crucial role in OWU's future.
- Dan Hitchell
Vice President for Finance & Administration