Changing Spaces: Weill Hall Renovation

This summer (2017) the Meinig School began a major renovation of Weill Hall as part of a multi-year, three-phase plan to develop new space for its growing research and teaching programs. Included in the projects are renovations to Weill and Comstock Halls. Designed by Levenbetts and executed by the general contractor Edger Enterprises, the $3 million phase one project began in May with all three phases expected to be finished by 2023.

Project Phases Schematic
Biology Quad buildings including Weill and Comstock Halls with project phase locations. 

The first phase of the plan, underway since May 2017, will create a more prominent home for Meinig School administration in the Weill Hall west wing space formerly occupied by a conference room and Synapsis Cafe. Included in the administrative suite will be a reception area with two workstations, a kitchen area, six private offices (some shared), a 12-person meeting room and a multi-purpose room that seats up to 49. The basement area directly below this administrative suite, which originally contained facilities and dining storage rooms along with an M.Eng. design lab, will now contain several new spaces to serve the student programs, including a collaboration and ideation studio twice the size of the original, a project room/wet lab, a fabrication lab, a computer lab and technician office. The project team expects the design/ideation lab ready for use by September 15, with the remainder of the first-phase space ready by mid-October.

The second phase, expected to begin in the fall of 2017, "will be substantially more challenging due to the complications of renovating space currently occupied by active programs and the multitude of project stakeholders," said Todd Pfeiffer, Weill Hall facilities director. Phase two involves consolidating Biological Statistics and Computational Biology (BSCB) and the Department of Statistical Science (DSS), currently located in Weill Hall and several other facilities, into a new addition that includes two new stories above the south wing of Comstock Hall. Phase two also involves adding some new teaching and laboratory space on the first floor of Comstock Hall for Meinig School classes as well as renovations to existing teaching lab spaces to be shared with Introductory Biology teaching labs.

Design of the new Meinig School administrative suite
Phase 1: A New School Home. Design of the new Meinig School administrative suite as rendered by the architect, Levenbetts, and the student collaboration and ideation studio open to BME students in September 2017.

Phase three of the project will add faculty research laboratories in the first-floor north wing area of Weill Hall vacated by Meinig School administrative staff and BSCB staff during the first two phases. Also during phase three, the existing basement BME teaching lab spaces will be converted to BME faculty research laboratories.

“After a lot of careful planning, we are excited to see the first phase underway,” said Meinig School Director Marjolein van der Meulen of the project. “The plan gives us much needed space and equipment to strengthen and expand our growing research and teaching programs.”