A $2.5 M renovation of the Akerman Hall Hangar is planned as part of a $5.3 M project to upgrade the fire/life/safety systems in Akerman Hall and the old Mechanical Engineering buildings. The project is scheduled to begin Spring 2010 and will be completed in September 2010. A tall dramatic entry vestibule and new pedestrian plaza will create a grand east entrance to Akerman Hall off of Scholars Walk. The original 16-foot steel hangar doors will be replaced with a striking, glazed curtain wall entry. Renovation of the hangar area has been the top departmental priority for the past three years.
Renovation of the Hangar and the fire/life/safety upgrades for Akerman Hall and Mechanical Engineering is the result of partnership between the Office of the Vice President of Research (OVPR), Facilities Management, the Institute of Technology and the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics (AEM).
The Akerman Hall Hangar was constructed in 1948. At the time, it was used for actual aircraft testing and retains much of the original construction and infrastructure. The original two-story space was intended to accommodate an airplane with the large, 16-foot high steel doors that open to Union Street. The comprehensive remodeling of the hangar will correct many building code violations, provide a more efficient use of space and create an attractive, engaging and collaborative learning environment better than any space currently in the department. The project will also provide greater energy efficiency by replacing all the single-pane windows with historically accurate, high efficiency windows and a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.
The project is being led by BWBR Architects of St. Paul, M.A. Mortensommn is the general contractor and Sebesta Blomberg & Associates are the mechanical design contractors. Progress on the Akerman Hall hangar renovation project can be found at www.aem.umn.edu/hangar. Future editions of AEM Update will provide progress information on the project.
More information on the project can be found at the Capital Planning & Project Management's project website.