Mortenson's Valpo student union

VALPARAISO, IN—Mortenson Construction will soon complete the exterior construction of the first suite-style residence hall at Valparaiso University. The $27 million hall is part of Valparaiso’s plan to create a single integrated campus design that will help the school double its enrollment over the next ten years.

“It shows the university’s far-sighted and innovative approach to construction, from creating a master campus plan in the first place to requiring architects and builders to team up on design-build proposals, which are relatively rare in higher education but offer numerous benefits in time saving, cost and quality,” says Greg Werner, vice president and head of Mortenson’s Chicago office.

In addition to the design/build solution, the project has several other unique features. For example, company officials say they used precast concrete—making the new dorm one of the first that’s 100% precast concrete.

Designed to house 290 sophomores, the 85,000-square-foot residence will have four-, six- and eight-bed suites, with one to two bathrooms and a living room per suite. Built to LEED Silver standards, the four-story building will have central air-conditioning, a kitchenette on each floor and three great rooms on the first floor. Mortenson began construction in July, 2013 and will complete the job before students arrive in the summer of 2014.

Mortenson has completed more than $3 billion in higher education projects since 2000, including a $51 million, 202,000-square-foot student union at Valparaiso.