Worner Campus Center Undergoes Major Renovation
The Worner Campus Center, the nucleus of all campus activity, is undergoing a major renovation that will result in a more welcoming and energy-efficient building.
Most of the Worner Center improvements are focused on the main level, with the goal of transforming the dated and congested Rastall Hall into a dining area that is bright, sustainable, and easily navigated. A portion of the north side of Rastall will be opened to the Perkins Lounge area with full light doors (see artist’s rendition), resulting in a flexible layout that can accommodate a variety of functions. Most notable of the changes will be the servery area which will be open to the dining area and will provide a variety of new food choices.
Colorado Coffee is moving inside the entrance to Benji’s, and Benji’s will be upgraded with an improved layout, which includes a new grill area, Taqueria, Sushi, Grab n’ Go coolers, flooring, furniture, and new paint. Benji’s, along with Colorado Coffee, also will be used as an additional study area in the evenings, giving students more study area options.
Energy efficiency is a major goal of the renovation, and the project is aiming for LEED certification, said Will Wise, building trades manager for facilities and project manager for this project. Approximately 144 solar panels producing 35KW are being installed on the Worner Center roof to help offset the electrical usage in the building. An interactive flatscreen on the main floor will be devoted to monitoring energy consumption in Worner Center, he said.
The shared kitchen between Rastall and Benji’s will have the most energy-efficient dishwasher available, one which drastically reduces water use. The new kitchen appliances are Energy Star-rated, lighting throughout the building will be upgraded to low-energy usage lights, plumbing will be low-flow and all 25 toilets in Worner will be dual-flush.
The building’s seven air handlers, most of which date from the original 1959 building, will be reduced to five vastly more efficient ones. The air handlers take care of the building’s ventilation, heating, and air conditioning needs.
“Our goal is to reduce energy consumption by a minimum of 30 percent,” Wise said. A 30 percent reduction would result in an anticipated savings of $108,000 a year, he said. Total cost of the project is $9 million, which includes $7.7 million for construction, as well as architect, engineer, permits, and testing fees, and funds for new paint and carpeting, and other aesthetic issues, Wise said.
The project has a tight timeline of 81 days, and in order to complete the work by the August 19 deadline, two crews are working two shifts, six days a week . Bon Appetit will then have a week to get the kitchen ready before new students arrive on campus. In the meantime, the kitchen in Bemis Hall, which was remodeled last summer in preparation for the Worner Center renovation, is handing all the campus’s summer dining needs.
The project is the first major renovation of Rastall Hall since 1988, when the building took on a major transformation, and follows recommendations made in a 2009 study involving faculty, staff, students, and trustees.