Engage. Enrich. Envision. The names of three separate but intertwined capital campaigns that are transforming the experience at Mercyhurst University.
Today, Mercyhurst celebrates an achievement of one of those campaigns – a new, $9 million Academic Engagement Center. The four-story, 31,000-SF building will house Mercyhurst’s signature, internationally-recognized Intelligent Studies and Hospitality Management programs, as well as a pair of new initiatives that connect Mercyhurst with the wider community – the Evelyn Lincoln Institute for Ethics and Society and the Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics (MCAP). The Center is being envisioned as “a hub of experiential learning, where students will produce intelligence estimates for decision-makers, oversee public opinion research, and manage conference and banquet facilities.”
In collaboration with architect Shelley Buehler of Buehler & Associates, Inc., Urban Engineers (Urban) provided geotechnical, surveying, civil, environmental and structural consulting, as well as material testing and construction inspection services for the project. The structural design incorporated Building Information Modeling by leveraging the interoperability of Revit and RISA-3D, a structural engineering analysis and design program, to model, analyze and design the steel framing and lateral force resisting systems.
The building’s unique features include two-story glass windows, a fourth floor boardroom with a stepped floor and cathedral ceilings for the college administration, a massive skywalk connecting the fourth floor of the new building to the existing Hammermill Library, and a 160-seat banquet facility and outdoor colonnade for administrative functions.
“When students and faculty return from summer vacation, they will be met with innovative classroom spaces and laboratories equipped with high-tech equipment that will further enrich the quality of the Mercyhurst academic experience,” said Kelly Young, PE, LEED® AP, a structural designer and integral member of Urban’s multidisciplinary team. “We are proud to have designed the infrastructure that helped make this possible.”