Dumas Hall Renovation, Alcorn State University
- Duvall Decker Architects
- 1M - 100M
- 1-5 Stories
This significant renovation of an existing campus building includes new enclosure, mechanical and electrical systems, and new classrooms, faculty offices and a lecture hall.
Constructed in 1959, Dumas Hall has served as the university library, science building and as a general classroom building. It is located along the eastern side of the campus green, between the historic president’s house and chapel and a porch-fronted row of residence halls to the west.
After a careful master plan and building forensic evaluation, it was determined that while most of the buildings systems and enclosure had failed or was originally poorly designed, the concrete frame structure was stable and valuable. By saving the structure and rebuilding on and around it, the project saved over $500,000 and four months of construction. This single decision allowed for the design of a durable energy efficient new classroom building within the funds available.
The original building was a dark cavernous structure that was sited lower than the street. Storm water runoff had caused considerable damage in and around the building. The design strategy included some strategic replanning of the building and site to elevate its presence on the street, provide a covered new entrance court and a new public stair. Extensive site work corrected the severe drainage problem and provided accessible routes to the building. A light monitor above the stair allows natural light to penetrate the center of the building. The exterior envelope was replaced to correct water infiltration problems and create an insulative and watertight enclosure. This fully functioning brick rain-screen wall provides waterproofing and thermal mass heat reduction.
As the building sits along the main road in the campus center, the new exterior is designed to be compatible with the overall campus character and adjacent buildings. The “porch, a cantilevered conference room, aligns with the line of porches on the adjacent buildings and provides a great prospect from the interior to the campus green.