The Wichita State University “Rhatigan Renewal” project takes an aging building built over fifty years ago and transforms it into a state-of-the art student union with innovative technological features, increased social space for student and faculty interaction, additional recreational and entertainment opportunities, improved traffic flow, improved energy efficiency, and improved compliance with ADA. These improvements will be a huge aid in recruiting and retaining students for years to come.
Dondlinger Construction is the general contractor for this project. The Rhatigan Student Center is being renovated in two phases, the first of which was completed in August of 2013. Because the school has made it a priority to keep as much of the building open as possible throughout the renovation process, we have erected and removed over 800 LF of temporary walls at the direction of the general contractor to keep the public traffic moving safely through the building during the construction process.
The colorful Infusion Clouds suspended in the large skylight over the student lounge area required a unique suspension method as they could not be suspended from the skylight above. Instead, they were suspended horizontally using steel cabling. The representative from the manufacturer told us that he only knew of one other project in the United States in which infusion clouds had been suspended using this method.
The Rhatigan Renewal project is one of the most eloquently designed projects that has come across our desks over the past several years. From the radius walls and ceilings to the various types of suspended clouds, flooring, lighting, décor, and the open floor plan allowing the large skylight to be visible from both floors of the lounge area, the Rhatigan Student Center is a beautiful building to behold. It will prove to be a great source of pride for students, alumni, faculty, and others associated with the university.