Knox College Umbeck Science & Mathematics Center - Renovation & Addition - Galesburg, IL

PAST PERFORMANCE - The Umbeck Science & Math Center Renovation Phase 1 consisted of a complete renovation of the 22,492 sq. ft. classroom and student study space in the main core of the building. Included in the project was a 3,100 sq. ft. all glass addition that became the new main entry. The renovation also included all new MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing) systems. The existing MEP systems had to remain in place to serve the other 4 wings of the building while school was still in session.


Links to Knox College's pages about this project:


Some in progress construction videos:








The Challenge

Re-imagining the Umbeck Science-Mathematics Center

Working with faculty from every SMC department, and architects Holabird & Root, this phased plan of attack will deliver immediate improvements to the student experience within the core of the building, while laying the groundwork for improvements to each of SMC's wings. A central science commons will replace the two amphitheater style lecture halls on the main floor, offering a full range of technology-rich study areas, including individual study carrels, study rooms that can accommodate up to six people, and a seminar room for 10. The space is currently designed to accommodate 133 students, with 2,800 linear feet of shelving for science books and journals.

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The Process

The first phase of the five-phase renovation began with the central core of the building. An expanded atrium brings light into the space and offers seating and study areas for students and visitors. A central science commons replaces the two amphitheater-style lecture halls on the main floor, offering a full range of technology-rich study areas as well as housing reference materials and offering space for students to work in groups or study alone.

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The Result

Phase 1 of the SMC renovation added important updates to the building's mechanical, electrical, and safety systems with an eye toward increasing energy efficiency and comfort control. Air handling units and ventilation systems replaced in the core of the building provide enhanced capacity to serve both the Phase 1 addition and subsequent additions to the wings. Electrical systems were upgraded, including lighting, lighting control, and power distribution. A fire sprinkler system was added to the core and included capacity and provisions for future phases of the renovation.