Cupples II set to undergo renovations, become LEED-certified ArtSci building

School of Engineering moves to newly constructed Brauer Hall

| Staff Reporter

The Cupples II building, currently housing the School of Engineering, is scheduled to be renovated substantially inside by the summer of 2011. The new Cupples II will become an Arts and Sciences building.

The South 40 is not the only place where changes are happening. Cupples II, which currently houses Washington University’s School of Engineering, will undergo an interior renovation this September.

Most of the departments in the School of Engineering & Applied Science will move to the new Brauer Hall, which was completed recently in spring 2010, and the newly renovated Cupples II will become an Arts & Sciences building.

Faculties from certain departments of the engineering school, such as the Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering (EECE) and the Electrical and Systems Engineering (ESE) departments will move to Bryan Hall and Jolley Hall, according to Mike Altepeter, the assistant dean of the engineering school.

The renovation to Couples II is scheduled to be completed in July 2011, according to Tom Simmons, the director of facilities for Arts & Sciences.

“The entire building will be renovated,” Simmons said. “There’ll be a couple of minor things on the outside, but 99 percent of the work will be inside. There’ll be new drywall partitions to create new sizes and shapes of rooms.”

Eight new state-of-the-art pool classrooms will be constructed according to Simmons. The term “pool” is used to define classrooms that will be shared among the departments of the College of Arts & Sciences.

The goal of renovating Cupples II is to create more and better classrooms, to provide a consolidated space for the College of Arts & Sciences, and to add new space for the graduate school and also the Office of Undergraduate Research, according to Simmons.

“The building was chosen [to be renovated] because first, it was going to be available because the School of Engineering is moving out, and second, it’s a great central location for our administrative offices,” Simmons said.

The renovated interiors of Cupples II will also make it an environmentally sustainable building with at least a silver certificate in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), a green building-rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.

“It will be at the least LEED silver, [although] we’re still hopeful that we can obtain gold,” said Simmons.

Currently, there are four LEED-certified buildings on campus, which include the Earth and Planetary Sciences Building, Seigle Hall, Village East and the Danforth University Center.

Despite these elaborate plans, however, no budget estimation has been made, according to Simmons.

Engineering students see the school moving to Brauer Hall as being a mostly positive experience, only with some negative consequences.

“The facilities [in Cupples II] are kind of old. The building itself is also older compared to other buildings I’ve been to on campus. I’m really excited about the advanced technologies they will use in the new building,” said Xueyang Hu, an engineering student who often goes to Cupples II for his computer science lab. “[However], Brauer Hall is kind of far away for people living on the 40.”

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