Today’s finest colleges are constantly innovating to provide students with the best possible curriculum, faculty, technology and sports offerings. Also key to student satisfaction is quality of life, which is enhanced greatly by improvements made to existing facilities, as well as the construction of new buildings.
For more than a decade, Opus has had a long-standing relationship with Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, designing, building and remodeling multiple buildings for the college. To enhance the college’s academic and sports programs, Luther enlisted Opus to design and build the Sampson-Hoffland Science Center for biology, and a state-of-art swimming and diving center. Luther College also tapped into Opus’ expertise in residential design and development for an important renovation project of two key student housing towers – Miller Hall and Dieseth Hall.
Built in the 1960s, Miller Hall and Dieseth Hall are eight-story, 70,000-square-foot towers that are connected by a single story structure featuring a large gathering area, game room and study spaces. The towers provide a considerable amount of student housing for Luther College, each with 184 student rooms that can accommodate 368 students.
Opus fully renovated each building for Luther College by adding key amenities and updating the interior spaces and mechanical equipment to current HVAC standards. Specifically, kitchenettes and laundry areas were added to every other floor, and restrooms were renovated with new showers, water-saving fixtures, new ceramic flooring and wall tiles. In student rooms, built-in furniture was removed and replaced by movable furniture. Additionally, new windows, closets and luxury vinyl tile flooring were installed. To support Luther’s emphasis on music, sound-proof music practice rooms were added to the lower level of each tower.
Finishes were upgraded and design features were added throughout both towers, including beautification of the elevator lobby areas with glass tiles and the addition of decorative light fixtures in the ground floor lounge areas.
Opus completed the project in 2012, working in tandem with Performa Higher Education, a Green Bay design firm.