Cole Hall Complete Renovation

Northern Illinois University

DeKalb, Illinois

Cole Hall was originally built in 1968 to house two 500-seat lecture halls, serving as the core classroom facility for several general education courses. The Cole Hall renovation transformed one lecture hall into a state-of-the-art learning environment, capable of hosting classes of 200 to 400 students. The second lecture hall was converted to a premium exhibition space for the Anthropology Museum and a smart classroom computer laboratory designed to encourage team-based collaboration.

Auditorium – The existing auditorium was modernized to a large lecture hall, and now includes more flexible seating, space allotments, ADA compliance, and smart classroom technology. Staggered decking was designed on the sloped floor to accommodate seats with tablet arms and swivel seating, making it easier for students to work in small groups.
Anthropology Museum – The new facility features customized spaces and dramatic lighting that can be tailored to changing exhibits. The museum, which holds more than 12,000 archaeological objects, includes special humidity and temperature controls in the gallery and storage facility to protect and preserve collection pieces.
Computing Center – Occupying part of the former auditorium is a high technology student learning studio/computer laboratory that encourages students to solve problems collaboratively while taking advantage of online resources. The facility, which accommodates up to fifty students, is based on the SCALE-UP (Student Centered Active Learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs) model.
General Improvements – The 50-year-old Cole Hall received a number of improvements, including a new fire alarm and sprinkler system, replacement of obsolete heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and updated mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. The front façade of the building, the common areas, and the mechanical systems were also upgraded.

Henneman Engineering’s services included mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, and technology design, cost estimates, construction documents, detailed drawings, and specifications.

Completion Date
2011