The Garland Company Inc.
Located in the heart of the Indiana State University (ISU) campus, Normal Hall dates back to the early 1900s. The facility is the third-oldest building on the ISU campus and the sole building remaining from the ISU Normal School era.
Originally home to the university’s central library, Normal Hall has been repurposed and has undergone multiple renovations, but more recently, the neo-classical building sat largely unoccupied and falling into disrepair. In early 2014, ISU’s facility management and executive team began eyeing a major renovation and addition in hopes of rejuvenating Normal Hall and making it home to two core units: the Center for Student Success and the University College.
“This renovation has returned Normal Hall to its rightful place in the center of campus life,” says ISU president Daniel Bradley. “The project has added a valuable resource for students while preserving and re-energizing a significant historic structure in the heart of the campus.”
Focusing on blending the building’s historic significance with its new purpose to serving students and faculty, ISU put the $16 million project out for public bid. arcDESIGN, an Indianapolis-based architectural firm with higher education, historic renovation and reuse expertise well within its wheelhouse, took on the sizable job, collaborating with The Garland Company, a leader in high-performance roof and building envelope solutions; Weddle Brothers, a leading general contractor and a series of important subcontractors.
Tying the past to the future
The renovation required a complete overhaul — top to bottom — and the addition of a large new wing and a brand-new 12,400-square-foot roof. “Made of Indiana limestone, Normal Hall is really the epitome of what an educational building from the 19th century should look like. Our project team’s job was to bring it into the 21st century,” explains Rick Ryherd, area manager for Garland.
Garland partnered with arcDESIGN’s team to maintain the historic integrity of Normal Hall while delivering the new addition, which is much more contemporary in contrast. “The existing historic building needed to be modified to reach the amount of square footage desired by ISU, so the approach and strategy we used was to move all building services, mechanical rooms, restrooms, elevators and stairs to the new addition outside of the existing Normal Hall footprint,” outlines Greg Miller, project manager for arcDESIGN. “In the original Normal Hall, we focused on restoration of historic materials, fabrics and elements, while the addition is more contemporary, with clean lines and specifically selected materials that contrast with the original construction.”
In the old Normal Hall, the construction team worked to salvage original hardware and finishes. They were able to restore and replicate plaster moldings and cornices, save original wood doors and castings and restore the building’s signature grand marble and bronze staircase.
One of the largest and boldest rehabilitation efforts was the stained glass dome atop Normal Hall. Miller’s team used historic photos of the deteriorated glass art to recreate components and restore the stained glass to its original grandeur. With the glass ready to go, the rehab on the dome rotunda continued. The rotunda mural in the cupola was restored and surrounding original light fixtures were rewired. Above the dome, a new 40-foot octagonal skylight and supplemental lighting were installed to light the dome. And below the rotunda, 20 original columns with scagliola and paint finishes that stretch through the open hall were restored.
Working through structural challenges
Unforeseen challenges are often inherent in historic renovations and restorations and Normal Hall was no exception. During construction, crews discovered unstable structural conditions on the north side of the building, adjacent to the original six-story library stacks system.
“Normal Hall was originally constructed as a library, designed to maximize light, so instead of structural walls there were six levels of bookshelf stacks, all structurally self-supporting,” explains Miller. “Our design team needed to remove these stacks and replace them with four new floors for offices and new building systems.”
The entire exterior wall had to be removed and replaced while continuing to support the existing attic and roof, nearly 60 feet above the ground floor. Crews constructed a massive 60-foot high temporary structural support through six-story iron stacks. Structural steel columns supporting the roof trusses were replaced while the ends of deteriorated roof trusses were reconstructed.
“You’re going to discover issues with old buildings, it’s just bound to happen,” says Miller. “With so many unknowns, having a group of people who can work together on the fly as discoveries are made is critical. I think our team did an excellent job adjusting and keeping the project on track.”
Reroofing with ongoing interior renovations
Another tricky aspect of historic renovations is the number of repairs going on simultaneously. While interior work continued, on the exterior, the roof underwent major renovations as part of the expansion.
Local roofing contractor, Associated Roofing Professionals (ARP) worked with the Garland team to install a brand-new modified bitumen roof system with a high albedo coating.
“We knew this was going to be a work in progress,” explains Ryherd. The old asphalt built-up roof was removed down to the concrete deck. All obsolete penetrations were removed and new 1/4-inch steel was mechanically fastened over the opening to the concrete deck forming a solid structural substrate.
A two-ply vapor barrier was installed over the primed/prepared concrete deck. This acted as a temporary roof to help protect ongoing interior renovations.
Weatherproofing around seismic bracing
An unforeseen challenge for Ryherd and the roofing team was the need for a new seismic bracing system installed around the interior perimeter parapet walls. “Indiana is on the New Madrid fault line,” says Ryherd. “This bracing system was not there originally and created some challenges for both installing the new roof system in the valley lines and making sure it did not leak. There was 1/4-inch angled iron bolted to the parapet wall with cross bracing bolted into the concrete deck.”
Garland worked with arcDESIGN and Miller’s team to determine a long-term waterproofing solution to ensure Normal Hall would not experience future leaks. “The solution was stainless steel sleeves and rain collars around the deck support legs and installation of a new surface-mounted counter flashing set in butyl tape and sealed with a high-performance urethane caulking,” says Ryherd.
The circa-1910 brick walls presented another exterior issue, which was brought to Garland’s attention. “The mortar was spalling and needed work,” says Ryherd. “Our solution was Garland’s white R-Mer Wall panel system and counter flashing. Again, another potential interior parapet wall issue totally waterproofed as part of the building envelope.”
Miller selected the R-Mer Wall panels in 0.04 aluminum and sterling silver to adjoin the new Normal Hall addition, along with Garland’s R-Mer Edge coping in 0.05 aluminum to waterproof and finish out the parapet walls over the new addition. This selection provided a clean, rich look that complemented the original limestone construction on Normal Hall,” adds Ryherd.
Durable and energy saving
Aside from being a highly protective, weather tight, structurally sound solution, the 12,400-square-foot Garland roof installed on Normal Hall also helped contribute to the project’s LEED points. “Every new construction project we work on at ISU has a goal of achieving LEED Silver in mind,” says Seth Porter, construction manager, ISU facility management.
Garland’s StressPly EUV fiberglass-polyester reinforced, SBS and SIS modified bitumen membrane provides long-term performance as the waterproofing and reinforcement layer of the bitumen roofing system.
The combination of SBS and SIS rubber results in a superior high-performance membrane with low-temperature flexibility, long-term weathering characteristics and an increased overall life expectancy. The incorporation of 21-percent recycled content provides an environmentally friendly roofing solution without sacrificing performance.
Garland’s patented Pyramic white, nontoxic, acrylic coating helps preserve asphaltic or modified bitumen surfaces and significantly reduces under roof temperatures to create a more comfortable, energy-efficient environment.
The coating contains substantial levels of UV-blocking pigments that keep solar heat out of the building, slowing down roof aging and extending the life of the roofing system. “Rick was very knowledgeable about ISU standards and what they really wanted out of a roof. This helped establish performance criteria early on,” says Miller. “The ENERGY STAR-rated coating gave us the reflectivity needed to achieve the LEED heat island reduction credit.”
Pyramic’s high-performance acrylic polymers also provide added strength, flexibility, adhesion and color-retention to aged roofing systems. It provides 0.84 reflectance, 0.91 emittance, and a SRI (Solar Reflective Index) rating of 106.
“Not only is Garland’s roof contributing to the project’s soon-to-be LEED-Silver rating, it also has the ‘bulletproof’ 30-year guarantee, edge to edge, which is almost unheard of in the roofing industry,” adds Porter. “We’ve never had better service from a roofing company. Rick and the team responded quickly and they were all very professional.”
A dynamic project team
Garland and arcDESIGN are not strangers to the ISU campus; both have been active in campus improvements and new construction for many years, but even with this familiarity the Normal Hall project was quite a feat for all parties involved.
“When something needs to be corrected or action needs to be taken quickly, that’s where the right team can really shine,” says Miller. “Garland did a fantastic job working with the roofing sub, ARP, reviewing shop drawings and site conditions to figure out the best way to address issues and make quick revisions to keep the schedule moving.”
“Overall this project really was a tremendous effort between the owner, the general contractor, subs and the architect to make everything happen within the schedule and budget set forth,” adds Miller. “Normal Hall is a great example of the kind of teamwork it takes to satisfy all parties in a large project.”
Porter says it comes down to experience, something that makes Garland and arcDESIGN truly stand out. “Considering the difficulty of this facility, the project team adapted really well and everything was run very professionally,” he says. “There really weren’t a lot of hiccups company to company; there were in terms of structural and building challenges, but the project team worked together very fluidly to solve these and move forward.”
Ryherd says this all-star team is what carried Normal Hall to the finish line. “This was just one of those projects that was unique and it went so well thanks to all of the right players — it really was the perfect storm for construction,” he says. “I always enjoy working at ISU; it’s a great team and Seth plays a pivotal role in keeping the ship steered straight.”
The dynamic Normal Hall construction team successfully completed the project by the September 2015 deadline. The facility has now been open for just over a year and it continues to serve as the center of campus life for Indiana State University students, faculty and visitors.
“The restoration of Normal Hall has provided a great gathering place for our first-year students as the new home of University College,” says Bradley. “In addition to coming to Normal Hall for advising sessions and tutoring, our students have found it to be a great place to study. I think the project will contribute to our efforts to improve student success.”
Showcase your feature on your website with a custom “As Featured in US Builders Review” badge that links directly to your article!
Copy and paste this script into your page coding (ideally right before the closing