Renovation of University of the Montana Western’s Main Hall Wins Preservation Award

The iconic Main Hall building on the University of Montana Western campus was renovated over a 10 year period, with the final phase of the work being the renovation of the original library building. This portion of the structure was originally constructed in 1924. The renovation restored much of the original detailing, including the plaster and medallions that had been covered up or damaged over time. The original library reading room was restored for use as a model classroom. New classrooms and art galleries were included in the restoration as well.

BCE teamed up with architects Dick Shanahan (Bozeman) and Ken Seivert (Great Falls) to provide a total seismic upgrade for the brick and concrete structure. The seismic upgrade work was partially funded with a FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant and included adding new CMU shearwalls supported on concrete grade beams and helical piers throughout. Existing two-story unreinforced brick walls in the library reading room were braced out-of-plane with new steel frame elements, and a new steel mezzanine was constructed to create additional classroom space.

Jackson Contractor Group has been awarded “Best Historic Renovation” by the Montana Contractor Association (MCA) as part of the 2016 Building Excellence Awards for their work on this project. BCE engineers are proud to have been a part of the team that helped restore this landmark to its original glory.

Photo courtesy of University of Montana Western

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