Colorado State’s Guggenheim Hall Renovated to 1910 Status with Help from Ge Johnson and Other Industry Leaders Â?? Open House Oct. 30

One of Colorado State University’s focal points, a grand building from the early 20th century, has been renovated to its original 1910 appearance, the year the building first opened. An open house at Guggenheim will be held on Oct. 30 from 4:30 -6:30 p.m.

The renovation of Guggenheim Hall, on the northeast entrance of the Oval on the Colorado State campus, was made possible through a $100,000 gift from GE Johnson Construction Company of Colorado Springs as well as work provided by many other sub-contractors throughout the state of Colorado.

"Guggenheim Hall has a rich history, and GE Johnson Construction Company was honored to be involved with the restoration," said Dan Rondinelli, business development manager for GE Johnson. "The building is important to us and many of our employees who are graduates of Colorado State’s construction management program. The restoration would not be possible without the many tireless hours of donated time from dedicated students, faculty and staff."

The idea to renovate the building came about at an American Council for Construction Education accreditation visit attended by Larry Grosse, chairman of the Department of Manufacturing Technology and Construction Management in the College of Applied Human Sciences at Colorado State, and Jeff Christmann, healthcare division manager with GE Johnson Construction.

"With the restoration of such a significant landmark at Colorado State University, it was a great way to give back to a school that has given so much to GE Johnson by means of students and friendship with the construction management program," said Christmann.

Chris Koziol, assistant professor of manufacturing technology and construction management at Colorado State, led a historical preservation class during the project last year to determine how the building looked in 1910.

"The students learned about archival research by exploring material traces from previous years and how to understand changes in buildings over time," said Koziol. "It was a tremendous real-world experience for the students who were able to learn about new construction, historic building, remodeling and sustainability."

Although Guggenheim’s interior was being transported back to the early 20th century, sustainability was a priority during the renovation.

Brian Dunbar, associate professor of manufacturing technology and construction management at Colorado State, led a graduate facilities management class during the spring semester of 2003 that was charged with creating a facilities management plan that reflected the work uncovered by the historical preservation class. The facilities class also added environmentally sustainable concepts – a new departmental emphasis – to the renovation. Sustainable building ideas from the class that were implemented in the project include using carpet with recycled backing and fibers, non-toxic paints, renewable materials, ultra low-flow plumbing fixtures, linoleum flooring, energy efficient lighting and a solar powered clock. In addition, nearly 90 percent of the waste from the construction process was reused or recycled.  

"The students worked with the notion that a building can teach – they researched and designed opportunities to learn about energy efficiency, building materials and systems, natural lighting and indoor air quality," said Dunbar.        

Representatives from GE Johnson worked with students, who presented ideas involving construction management, interior design and technical education, keeping sustainability in mind. Mike Davis from Colorado State’s Department of Facilities Management was a guest instructor for the class to ensure the students’ plans followed university guideline. Two students from the class became project interns for GE Johnson.  

"Giving students the opportunity to work with and learn from industry and also apply what we are learning in the classroom really adds to our college experience," said Natalie Scherer, graduate student in construction management.     

Although Guggenheim Hall is almost 100 year old, now with a historically accurate interior, the building, through gifts from the construction industry, is state-of-the-art. Many of the classrooms are "smart" classrooms that provide ideal environments for teaching and learning.

"Its great to see Guggenheim Hall restored to serve students, faculty and staff for many years to come," said Rondinelli.

A portrait of Gil Johnson, who started the GE Johnson Construction, now hangs at the top of the stairwell in Guggenheim Hall.

"The restoration of the Guggenheim Building is a great example of what can be accomplished with a partnering of our industry, our students, staff and faculty and Facilities Management. It was fun listening to the reaction of our students when they returned from the summer to encounter a new look to our building." said Grosse.

Other industry leaders donating resources to the Guggenheim renovation project included ISEC, RK Mechanical Contractors, Riviera Electric, Phase 2 Company, Monarch Wall Systems, The Light Center, Alpine Cabinets, All City Floor, INterface Flooring Systems, Waco Scaffolding & Equipment, Falcon Waterfree Technologies, Forbo Flooring, Holmes and Associates and Re: Source Colorado Inc.

For more information about the open house, contact Sue Wagner-Renner at (970) 491-7959.