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Lafayette College - Ramer History House

718 Sullivan

Miller, Miller & McLachlan was contracted by Lafayette College at the conception of the project to be their Construction Manager. We worked with KSS Architects LLP from the start of the design through completion of the project.

This project was initially scheduled to start in September 2005 and be completed August 2006. Due to delays on a new Dormitory Project, students living in this building could not be relocated in September as planned.

Lafayette College asked Miller, Miller & McLachlan if the project could be completed by the August 2006 deadline if the start date was moved to January 2006. This reduced an eleven month Project down to seven months. The reduction in project time had to be completed without escalating the Project cost.

This 2.02 Million-Dollar project was started in January and completed in August in time to allow the History Department to move in and get settled before classes began. This deadline was set at the beginning of the project and there was no room for failure.

The overall goal was to completely renovate this Georgian Revival building, giving it a serviceable life of 20-30 years. To satisfy the Donor and the History Department this had to be completed in a way that would leave the building’s exterior appearance unchanged while recreating a unique décor on the interior.

The original building was built in 1905 by Phi Charge of Theta Delta Chi at a cost of $25,000.00. It was restored after a fire in the early 1960’s. In 2003 the building was renovated for temporary use as student housing.

This 7,840 square foot building was totally gutted. Concrete floors and structural steel had to be removed on each floor
to allow the installation of an elevator. The transformation from student housing to a dynamic 21st century learning environment included the installation state of the art
HVAC, electrical and communications systems.

Exterior work included re-building exterior handrails around the porch. These handrails were completed in solid Mahogany to improve the expected life of the handrail while preserving the historical nature of the building. A new entry vestibule was added on the south porch to help temper the air at the lobby entrance.

All the building’s windows were removed and replaced with Marvin clad insulated Tilt-Pac windows. These windows were custom made to fit the existing opening leaving the original jambs and trim intact. Where the jambs and trim were in poor condition they were removed and fabricated with new pieces to match the existing trim.

The first floor features two seminar rooms and a class room – all with state-of-the-art instructional technology. This floor also features an attractive lobby.

The second and third floors contain faculty office, a workroom, a student lounge and a kitchenette.
Ramer History House has a complete sprinkler system is including an antifreeze systems in the east and west porches.

Installation of the mechanical systems was extremely difficult due to space limitations of working in an older building. Floor to floor elevation differences did not allow the amount of space to run ductwork that is normally given in new construction. Creative solutions were worked out between Tri County Mechanical (HVAC contractor), Swoyer Plumbing (Plumbing contract), DS Correll (sprinkler contract), West Side hammer Electric (Electric contract) and Snyder Hoffman Associates, the Engineer.

The HVAC system consists of a 30 ton Chiller. College steam is converted to hot water for heating. A four pipe fan coil system is used for vestibules and most rooms on the second and third floors. This system includes energy recovery equipment and Siemens Controls. The Siemens Controls allow Plant Operations to monitor the system and make adjustments from a remote location. Their ability includes making changes that impact comfort in each room.

Ramer History House has a Simplex Fire Alarm System as well as a Security System including card access at the
main doors. Both these systems are monitored by Campus Department of Public Safety on a 24 hour a day
basis.

This building has multiple computer outlets in each room as well as a wireless technology.

Completion of this project was on time and under budget. Cost savings of $27,000.00 were returned to the College at the Completion of the Project.

Miller, Miller and McLachlan received many compliments on the craftsmanship found in each of the building elements.