Originally constructed in 1972, Elms Hall (formerly known as the Classroom Building) is located at Buffalo State University. To meet evolving needs and to continue to provide a space that fosters academic growth, Elms Hall is undergoing a significant transformation. This project not only preserves the history of Buffalo State, but also ensures it is well-equipped for the future.
Phase 1: A Custom Approach
Phase 1 construction commenced in March 2022, focusing on demolition, abatement, and construction of a new exterior envelope. While this phase presented its own set of challenges for Boston Valley Terra Cotta, a different approach was taken to adhere to the design intent.
With careful coordination, Boston Valley was able to supply all terra cotta panels, vertical baguettes, and sills/coping to be seamlessly attached to the building structure, fitting perfectly with the custom sub-framing system. By introducing a contemporary, high-efficiency envelope that compliments the original structure, the renovation is also addressing critical issues such as insulation and water infiltration.
The terra cotta elements, including the sill and coping, were custom made with Boston Valley’s through-body clay mix. As a nod to modern aesthetics, the terra cotta panels (shown in the photos), and vertical baguettes featured a custom metallic orange glaze. In total, 25,000 square feet of terra cotta panels, baguettes, and sill/coping were produced for this project.
Phase 2: Towards a Bright Future
The Elms Hall revitalization project is a two-phase endeavor, with Phase 2 encompassing site and interior build-out. With a substantial budget of $78 million, this extensive renovation is set to be completed in 2025.
Phase 2 will bring about several exciting changes. Notable among them is the addition of an identifiable south entrance, connecting seamlessly to the main north entrance. This enhancement will not only provide increased accessibility but also improve wayfinding. Building systems and finishes will also be replaced during this phase.
Architect: Architectural Resources in cooperation with Perkins and Will
General Contractor: Manning Squires Hennig Co, Inc
Installer: Mader Construction Company, Inc
Project cost: $78 million (all phases)
Construction start: March 2022
Construction finish: Expected to reopen in 2025