Project Spotlight: Lynn Hall Research Laboratory Renovation
A success story from planning to completion, the research lab renovation at Lynn Hall stemmed from a long overdue air conditioning repair project for the Department of Basic Medical Sciences. The broken a.c. not only created an unsafe work environment, but it was also not conducive to recruiting top faculty.
Rooms 2177 and 2183 had never been renovated since Lynn Hall was built. Once the resources to renovate the lab finally became available, the Office of the University Architect got the project underway. Deb Johnson served as project manager, while Chris Skiba from the Construction Department was the contract manager.
Location: Lynn Hall, Rooms 2177 and 2183
Client: Department of Basic Medical Sciences
Architecture & Engineering:
Construction Contract Manager: Chris Skiba
Project Budget: $957,000
Projected Construction Completion Date:
July 1, 2008
Actual Completion Date: May 28, 2008
| Previous lab renovations that had gone past deadline and over budget lead Dr. Gordon Coppoc, BMS department head, to appoint a team of faculty to work with the project team and architects to keep this project on target. Drs. John Turek, Nagrendra Prasad, and Sophie Lelievre represented the department in the design process.
They studied existing labs at the Biomedical Engineering building and used them for inspiration, so that BMS could, according to Dr. Coppoc, "capture the good and fix the bad."
Good communcation between all parties played an important part in this project's success. The department's advance preparation and in-depth understanding of what they wanted the finished product to be greatly assisted in the design process, says project manager Deb Johnson.
"During construction we had very few issues," she states, "which was partly due to the department's communication during the design phase. That contributed greatly to the project's timeliness."
Dr. Turek says, "The architects came back with a nice, clean, functional design. We only needed to make minor changes. That made it easy."
Dr. Coppoc credits their success in the design phase to three things: "We had a clear notion of what we wanted; we had a good model on campus; and we had a good team familiar with research labs."
The space was completely gutted and reconfigured in a total renovation. It received all new flooring, ceilings, walls, lights, equipment, and a new air handler.
The construction process also went well. The lab is located on the top floor of Lynn, which helped keep the general construction disturbance out of the way. It is directly above a conference room, rather than a classroom, so the noise was less of a disruption during classtimes.
The finished lab is a general purpose cell biology lab. It includes office space, general lab equipment, and a cell culture area. Instead of being designed for a specific person's research, it is a generic lab with moveable furniture that will enable flexible usage in the future.
Substantial completion was reached on June 1, 2008—one month earlier than planned. The lack of problems during construction and staying on schedule contributed to another success: "The bid amount of this project came within dollars of the my original preliminary estimate that was given to the department," says Deb. "A great deal of the contingency money will likely be returned to the department at closeout."
Dr. Coppoc states, "We're happy. It's a beautiful lab."
From left: Dr. Gordon Coppoc, Dr. John Turek, Dr. Sophie Lelievre, Dr. Nagendra Prasad