Ball State University - North Quad Renovation

Ball State University

Muncie, IN


Project Description:

The North Quad Facility houses the largest college on the Ball State Campus and was once a theater/auditorium and the campus library.  The University sought out to re-structure the facility into a modern, up-to-date teaching and learning facility with optimal flexibility in classroom layout and design.

Project goals included the improvement of circulation and wayfinding, providing space for 2 additional departments, complete replacement of the buildings mechanical and electrical systems and improved ADA access to buildings occupants. Phased construction was required as space did not exist on campus to fully displace the building's occupants, thus the building was two-thirds occupied at all times.

To accomplish the Owner’s goals, the design team created five individual construction phases (3 building phases and 2 site phases) which reduced the project to small enough portions to allow the Owner to utilize the remaining 66% of the building at any given time.  Construction phases proceeded from west to east. This was important in that the existing centralized mechanical spaces are located to the east, and the new ones are in the building’s west side; thus the old HVAC could be capped as construction progressed and the new extended in, always maintaining uninterrupted occupancy.

The impact on the Ball State community by the North Quad renovation project is subtle but important. The eight departments of the College of Science and Humanities had previously been divided amongst several buildings. This lack of unification inhibited collaboration among faculty, staff and students. By renovating the structure, simplifying the wayfinding, and creating a more efficient layout, the College is now under one roof, facilitating an easier student and faculty working interaction, and bestowing somewhat more prominence to its endeavors.

A secondary impact on the Ball State community is the creation of the World Cultural Center within North Quad. This space can be used for presentations, cultural interaction and collaborative work efforts.  It is designed for a constant flow of information from world news sites displayed on multiple television screens to accommodate one’s engagement in a variety of cultural perspectives. Used extensively for foreign language studies, this area serves as a wayfinding circulation element between east and west components of the building – a metaphor not lost on the students who use it.

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