AKA: Evergreen State College, Student Activities Building (CAB), Olympia, WA

Structure Type: built works - public buildings - schools - university buildings

Designers: DLR Group, Architects and Engineers (firm); Kirk, Wallace, McKinley AIA and Associates, Architects (firm); SOLARC Engineering and Energy+Architectural Consulting (firm); Michael Hatten (mechanical engineer); Gene Johnson (mechanical engineer); Paul Hayden Kirk (architect); R. Scott Kruse (architect); David A. McKinley Jr. (architect); Galen Ohmart (architect); Donald Sheridan Wallace (architect)

Dates: constructed 1972

total floor area: 83,000 sq. ft.

2741 McCann Plaza Drive NW
Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA 98505

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Completed in 1972, the Evergreen State College's Campus Activities Building was designed by the Seattle firm of Kirk, Wallace, McKinley AIA and Associates.


Evergreen State College administrators added an extra story onto the CAB in 1992.

A $21 million, large-scale renovation and expansion of the CAB began in 2009, that sought to preserve 95% of the original building, according to theEvergreen State College 2009-2010 Annual Report. The Seattle office of the Omaha-based DLR Group supervised this remodeling. According to the report: "Sweeping interior renovations added a new central staircase in the lobby and more space to the bookstore, conference services, KAOS radio station, student organization offices, the student newspaper and the bike shop. Campus dining facilities were expanded and upgraded and new areas for studying, holding meetings and socializing were added, as was the student-run Flaming Eggplant Café, formerly located in a small trailer on Red Square. The project added about 15,000 square feet to the 85,000-square-foot building. Pedestrian flow was improved to better connect the residential east campus to the academic west campus." (See Evergreen State College 2009-2010 Annual Report,accessed 03/21/2016.)

In the CAB's case, the annual report made a special effort to indicate that the students themselves demanded the changes: "This project was made possible by Evergreen students, who voted to launch the renovation, agreed to pay special student fees to fund about 75 percent of its cost, and participated in the design process with a majority vote within the college’s design committee." (See Evergreen State College 2009-2010 Annual Report,accessed 03/21/2016.) The state allocated about $4.9 million for maintenance and repair of the original CAB.

This remodeling, completed by 2010, was part of a larger process undertaken in the 2010s of renovating and, in some cases, significantly altering original 1970s buildings on campus. In part, these changes were driven by the college's aim to become carbon neutral by 2020. The CAB alteration was given a LEED Gold certification. For the CAB, SOLARC, Engineering and Energy+Architectural Consulting, worked with DLR to obtain this high LEED rating. SOLARC's web site said this of the project: "The existing building lacked comfortable lounges, informal social spaces and activity spaces of all kinds. Programs housed in the CAB were overcrowded and required room to expand. Programming indicated a need for 14,000 to 16,000 square feet of additional space to the 83,000 square foot building, to accommodate a 25% student population increase. A preference was expressed for distributing additions around all sides of the building to respect the existing architecture. A principle [sic] goal was to upgrade the food service facilities and offerings. In the new design, food venues are located on each level of the building as a means to activate each floor with students. The new design moved program functions away from the windows so views could be shared. SOLARC provided LEED design consulting services, extensive sustainable design assistance, energy modeling, led a full on eco-charette, and meetings with students and other users, in our role as a consultant to DLR Group." (See SOLARC, Engineering and Energy+Architectural Consulting, "LEED® > Campus Activities Building," accessed 03/21/2016.)

PCAD id: 6968