Renovation nearing completion

A lift truck brings materials to crews replacing slates and flashing on the 3rd floor.

By Mimi Siff
Director of Student Services

The Richmond Hall renovation project remains on target for a completion date that will allow students to move in just before the start of the Spring 2017 term in early January. The roof work continues to uncover many unexpected and surprising challenges, but the management teams from Hourigan and Baskervill work quickly and efficiently to address them and keep the project moving forward towards the finish line. Upstairs, the student living areas are really coming together: walls have final coats of paint, carpet and tile have been laid down and the new furniture has been ordered. Due to the historical nature of the building, the dorm rooms each have their own unique shape and size and will provide some fun opportunities to personalize the space.

Main dining area.

On the main floor, the mailroom and Global Mission Center walls are up and the kitchen that will serve our community meals is beginning to take shape but the real showstopper of the renovation is going to be the new staircase that leads from the cafe’ to the lower level student recreation area. It really opens up the space and allows a great deal of light to flow in, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere where students can gather to play pool, watch TV and movies, or just to talk or study.

New staircase taking shape.

Members of the Richmond Student Government Assembly Service Committee cooked lunch on the quad for the nearly 80-member construction crew. Hamburders, hotdogs, baked beans, chili, potato salad, pumpkin bread and more were provided as thanks for the hard work these men and women are doing to update our beloved community center.

Students cooked lunch for the construction crew, which includes several women.



Ready for rough-in and roof

Escaping ducts

By Keith Fauber
Director of Physical Plant

Work is progressing well: ready for rough-in inspections for all trades. Once the rough-in inspections pass, we can begin closing the walls/hanging sheetrock. This will begin on the 3rd floor and progress to the basement.

The all important chiller/AC is scheduled to be delivered within the next few weeks. This will be key for being able to finish the sheetrock and ready the interior for painting.

The final phase for all trades will begin during and after sheetrock is hung and finished: plumbing fixtures, lighting, and receptacles will be installed. Flooring will be one of the last, depending on area. Kitchen will need flooring first, then appliances.

Roof replacement and new window installation are scheduled to begin early August.

Sounds simple and quick, but there is a lot to be done to stay on schedule.


1st floor, Rhee Center conference room
1st floor, main kitchen
1st floor, main dining and kitchen area
3rd floor, main hallway
3rd floor, dorm room and bath
3rd floor, shared kitchen
2nd floor, suite
2nd floor, new ductwork
2nd floor, main hallway
basement, recreation room
basement, waterproofing
New slate roof model


Syngman Rhee Global Mission Center for Christian Education

Richmond Hall was last renovated in 1976. Due to the wear and tear on the building over the last 40 years and the aging electrical and plumbing systems, the seminary has decided to renovate the building and turn that into the Syngman Rhee Global Mission Center for Christian Education. Besides providing offices for the mission program, we will add a full-service kitchen, an expanded dining room named in honor of alumnus James B. Holderness, a student community center and 28 dormitory suites. Suites that we can use for international visiting scholars as well as for our students. The projected completion date is July 2016.

Environmentally friendly features of the building and renovation will include:

  • A “passive solar” overhang at the roof line of the dining room addition to shade the glass from hot summer sun while allowing the sun into the space in winter.
  • Sustainable materials for our exterior and interior – this will include low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, finishes with high recycled content.
  • Recycling up to 85% of the demolition materials.
  • Improved indoor air quality.
  • Higher efficiency HVAC systems.
  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures to conserve water.
  • Energy Recovery Ventilators with total enthalpy wheels to recover both sensible and latent heat from the exhaust air stream and using it to pre-condition outdoor air for ventilation.
  • LED lighting to reduce lighting energy that is significantly below code-mandated maximums. Occupancy sensors will control lighting in public spaces.
  • Heat-sensor controls and variable frequency drives on kitchen hood fans to reduce air flows when hoods are on but cooking equipment is not in use.
  • A new high-efficiency, air-cooled chiller.
  • Both systems (heating and cooling) will utilize 2-way valves to allow for variable flow and reduced pumping energy.
  • Mechanical rooms, electrical rooms and enclosed stairwells that will be heated and ventilated only. Winter design temperature for these areas will be 65 degrees F.
  • An Energy Management Control System that is programmable to accommodate daily as well as seasonal fluctuations in occupancy.
  • A demand meter that will be provided on the main electrical service to the building which will be monitored through the Building Automation System.

Currently, all steam needed for heating, as well as domestic hot water, around the quad is provided using a pair of industrial boilers in the basement of Richmond Hall. A part of our analysis included evaluation of replacing these boilers with an underground geo-thermal heating and cooling system for the entire quadrangle. While this option would be a very environmentally friendly design, it also comes with  a $4.6 million price tag, almost four times the cost of the next most expensive alternative. Payback on that $4.6 million investment was estimated at approximately 30 years. Given the limited budget available for Richmond Hall, and the other demands on funding for that project, our current plan is to simply upgrade electrical service to the existing boilers in order to improve their operating efficiency. We’ve also discovered that solar panels are not a viable energy supply option as a result of limitations imposed on exterior modifications if we want to utilize available historic tax credits to help pay for renovations.

Presented here are an artist’s renderings of several ideas for renovations of Richmond Hall. While these renderings capture the spirit of what we plan to do, limitations imposed by design constraints, costs and historic register designation may not allow us to implement all of the design features displayed. Click images to enlarge.


03communitycenter  Barbara Lemon Community Center

04gameroom  Game room

05exerciseroom  Exercise center

06kitchen  Prep kitchen

07diningroom  James B. Holderness dining room

08diningroom2  James B. Holderness dining room

10communitykitchen  Community kitchen

11dormitorysuitecropped  Dormitory suite