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DePauw University’s new Dining Hall reflects historic campus design, meets LEED Gold criteria with Kolbe’s windows and doors.


Wausau, Wisconsin (June 2018) – Designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA), DePauw University's Hoover Hall provides a new dining hall for the University while carrying forward the Georgian character of the campus and complementing the historic East College building. The thirty-two million dollar project was completed on time, under budget and met U.S. Green Building Council's LEED® Gold criteria.

Kolbe's Ultra Series doors and Majesta® windows were key to meeting the new building's aesthetics and sustainability goals. In addition, these same historically appropriate products updated the appearance and performance of Hoover Hall's neighbor, the Memorial Student Union.

Connection, Contemplation, Creativity
For 175 years, DePauw University has offered a quality academic experience in a small-scale residential setting. Hoover Hall fulfills a core element of the University's Campus Master Plan, which called for the transformation of the campus core into a place of greater connection, contemplation and creativity. Situated just north of Hanna Street along Burkhart Walk, Hoover Hall replaces the "Hub," a food-court-style dining hall.

Today, Hoover Hall serves as the primary dining space for first-year students and upper-class students living in University housing. Its new 48,600 square-foot facility seats more than 600 students in the main dining room, with dozens more accommodated in an array of smaller dining rooms. Here, faculty and students have the opportunity to extend classroom lessons over mealtime discussions.

The building's name honors R. David and Suzanne A. Hoover, both 1967 graduates of DePauw, who provided the lead gift to fund the building. The Hoovers, according to DePauw President D. Mark McCoy, "recognized that DePauw builds lifelong relationships through a strong sense of community. And that community needed a place to meet, to eat, to interact and to share."

Design Through Details
"When we went into the offices of Robert A.M. Stern in New York, it was really apparent, almost from the moment we entered, that they were genuinely excited about taking on this project," said Suzanne Hoover. "They had all sorts of wonderful ideas for both form and function. This building has to work for its purpose, along with looking beautiful. So they brought all that to where we are today in this lovely facility."

DePauw's new dining hall maintains a traditional exterior, but its interior shifts from dated cafeteria lines in favor of exhibition-style cooking with a menu of foods from around the world. Designed in the Georgian style, popular between 1720 and 1830, it features steep-angled slate roofs with copper accents, hand-molded red brick, Indiana limestone and painted trim that blend with the rest of the campus.

"DePauw University's Hoover Hall is designed in a restrained Georgian style, referencing the adjacent Memorial Student Union, as well as Asbury Hall and Harrison Hall, academic buildings to the north," describes RAMSA Associate Sean Foley. "It was important to carry forward this design language through the details. Important aesthetic details for the windows include simulated divided lites, decorative brick mold trims, and custom color matching to the trim of the adjacent buildings."

He continues, "Most importantly, the windows in Hoover Hall are very large, so that the activity within the building is visible and transparent from the surrounding quad and serves to draw students into the building."

Foley emphasizes, "Not only was Kolbe Windows & Doors able to produce both the windows and exterior doors so that both components were complementary, they were able to produce the extremely large windows that our design required."

Curves and Constructability Challenges
"One of the more challenging aspects for us with the windows was perfecting the curved units that flank the main entrance," says Jerry Morris of Turner Construction. "On the flat sash windows, simulated divided lites were specified and worked fine. On the curved units, simulated just weren't possible, so Kolbe was able to modify their traditional design to match the desired look."

Jason Harrison of Kenny Glass elaborates, "At first, the radius was too sharp to produce. Kolbe kept making adjustments until they arrived at the right size and curvature that met the architect's expectations. We actually ended up making these curved, flanking windows with PDLs [performance divided lites]. They're almost exactly like the flat sash windows. The only difference is that curved glass cannot have grilles in the airspace. It was fun to see what Kolbe can do."

Morris recollects, "Way up front, Kolbe was identified as a preferred vendor by RAMSA. Through the early discussions about the project, it was clear that they were the best choice for matching the architectural theme and needs for the building. Once the system was specified, we worked to create the detailed shop drawings and sample review to ensure the project's constructability."

Customized for Perfection
Another of the challenges posed to Kolbe for Hoover Hall was its brickmoulds. "Kolbe offers several extruded aluminum brickmould options, but the architect wanted something unlike any of these and drew a custom profile," recalls Harrison. "RAMSA and Kolbe were extremely detailed in working together to make changes down to 1/16-inch to perfect it."

Harrison adds, "The same custom brickmould used on Hoover Hall was used next door on the Memorial Student Union Building." The Union also relied on Kolbe's Ultra Series doors and Majesta windows to update its façade and match the new dining hall. The units not only have the same brickmould, they also have the same PDLs, glass and finish."

"The project was designed to target a LEED Gold certification. A high-performing exterior envelope was key to achieving this," explains Foley.

Morris adds, "Kolbe also matched the architectural style with its doors. There were about a dozen 8-by-6 custom exterior doors in pairs plus a bunch of single ones. They were pre-hung, which was nice for the installation, too."

Gratitude and Praise
The project broke ground on May 14, 2014. "The 29 months that followed have changed this campus forever," said Melanie J. Norton, vice president of development and alumni engagement.

"Taking the vision of Hoover Hall to the reality of Hoover Hall was a considerable feat," remarked Doug Smith, trustee and chairman of DePauw's Buildings and Grounds Committee. "It involved assembling a team that understood the vision and could execute the plan on time and on budget. That was no easy task."

Addressing those at the building's dedication ceremony, Smith recognized RAMSA's Sean Foley and Preston Gumberich "for their impressive interpretation of their vision and their passion for this project." He said, "The firm is known for their ability to consistently design timeless structures that define the spaces where they're built. Hopefully, when you walked up here today and looked at Hoover Hall, it felt like it had been here for a long time. The integration of this space into this campus core, I think they did a spectacular job of that. Their attention to detail is legendary."

Lifelong Relationships
Norton comments, "This magnificent building fills a purpose far beyond food or shelter, it invites a new heartbeat to the center of campus, and changes the way those who live and learn here will connect, interact and collaborate. It will feed us in ways beyond the obvious and its influence will be felt for generations to come."

McCoy contemplated the building's significance to these future students. He noted, "It is remarkable to think of the ways this building will shape DePauw. How many students, like Dave and Suzanne, will meet their lifelong companion within these walls? How many times will a professor start a conversation over a meal that completely changes the trajectory of a student's life? How many friendships will be made and deepened here? How many problems solved? How many questions answered? How many imponderables will be pondered within these walls? Such moments are the fabric of the rich and rewarding DePauw experience, and now have a home, here in Hoover Hall. DePauw changes lives."

David Hoover agreed and added, "It's even better than we expected. We hope and expect it to be a place where people connect, communicate, build relationships, and improve and strengthen DePauw's culture."

McCoy concluded, "The beauty and magnificence of this space is clear to all of us and it will enhance the DePauw experience for the thousands of lives that will pass through these doors."

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DePauw University, 504 S. Indiana St., Greencastle, IN 46135;

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What began in 1946 as a two-brother team has grown into an internationally respected manufacturing company. Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co., Inc. is one of the nation's leading manufacturers of windows and doors for residential and commercial markets. After more than 70 years, Kolbe products are best known for superior quality, custom craftsmanship, attention to detail, as well as innovative and unique designs.