Building 27 (Catskill Building) Renovation

July 2020

Background \ Overview:

Building 27 (the old Business Administration Building) was originally constructed as the Business Administration, academic building to remain in keeping with the original style, materiality, construction method and module of the neighboring Academic Podium buildings.

Building 27 (now named Catskill Building) is located at the Northwest corner of the Academic Podium, closest to the Colonial Quadrangle Dormitory. In 2013, building 27 was vacated by the School of Business and remained occupied by; University Mail Services, Rapid Copy and various departments. Consistent with the 2012 Facilities Master Plan, the School of Education and another Department to be determined will be the occupants of Building 27. The building is now named, the Catskill Building.

The complete renovation of Building 27 has been a comprehensive renewal of the entire facility. The existing building, along with the balance of the podium, was designed by Edward Durrell Stone and built in the late 1960s. All of the podium buildings respect the international architectural design style, being composed of cleanly detailed concrete and patterned uniformity.

The exterior envelope has been updated with new windows and doors across all facades to improve the thermal quality of the building envelope. All of the design decisions have set out to replicate and compliment the original building to the furthest extent possible. The interior space has been gut-renovated down to the original concrete skeleton and has received a full new interior fit out. The floor slab construction is composed of a series of concrete vaults that are set on a 5-foot grid. This system is a very unique design element and has been preserved as much as possible throughout each floor of the project. In order to expose as many of the vaults as possible in the occupied spaces, ceilings have been added to the corridors of the project to conceal the primary distribution ductwork, piping, and cabling. Service into the occupied spaces is branched from these mains and primarily side-wall distributed to allow for exposed ceilings.

The greater university has organizing principles for all podium buildings that are intended to promote a uniform academic experience across the campus. In general, level one is considered “Main Street” and is home to large teaching spaces, shared academic spaces and other academic units. No faculty offices exist on level one. Level two is administration oriented, with some faculty office and work area functions. Level three is faculty oriented and home to offices, work, and research areas. Finally, the basement level houses support system spaces and research/lab units.

Following these planning standards, Building 27 is stacked and planned as follows:

Basement: Support spaces, research, Center for Innovation in Education, computer labs, and some teaching spaces
Level One: Registrar controlled classrooms, shared School of Education research spaces and work rooms, and public functions of the Dean's Office.
Level Two: The Dean's administrative and support spaces, School of Education faculty offices, shared School of Education meeting spaces.
Level Three: School of Education faculty offices and support spaces.

On level one, the “Main Street” concept translates into a bar of classrooms, bar of meeting and work spaces, and a bar of small shared research and work spaces. The basement reuses existing support spaces and mixes in computer labs and technology enabled classrooms. The isolation from exterior noise and glare in the basement is advantageous to computer use and any recording equipment.

Allowing natural light to pass through the perimeter spaces and into the center of the floor plan was a goal for the project. Strategies for interior glazing on the faculty office walls on levels 02 and 03 have been used to ensure natural light is properly balanced with office privacy. Full height glass is incorporated into the design to maximize the movement of natural light across all of the floors. Interior finish colors have been selected to compliment a sense of brightness and openness.

The interior design strategy for the Building 27 modernization incorporates a durable, absorptive and contemporary palette of materials into the floor plans disbursed with collaborative lounges, team rooms, offices and classrooms. Colors, finishes and furniture have been used to create vibrant, modern learning environments that are comfortable and inviting for both students and staff.

Building Overview:

The building includes the following features and rooms:

  • Three floors above grade and one floor below grade
  • Total building occupied space equals approximately 94,000 square feet
  • 5 Registrar scheduled classrooms
  • Mail Services Center
  • Rapid Copy Center
  • A Center for Innovation in Education
  • 4 School of Education Computer Labs
  • School of Education Clinical Observation Suite
  • School of Education Project spaces
  • Student Lounge
  • 9 Conference Rooms
  • Touchdown workspaces
  • 122 individual offices
  • High performance window systems for energy efficiency
  • Roof Skylights to provide natural day light to interior spaces
  • Targeted LEED Gold certifiable
  • High performance acoustical components
  • Complete Sprinkler coverage for the building
  • Daylight responsive lighting controls
  • Heat recovery system to maximize energy efficiency
  • Low flow plumbing fixtures to conserve water


Full gut renovation of building, including mechanical, electrical, plumbing systems, telecommunications systems, windows, and roofing.

Project Schedule \ Timelines:

The Building is currently occupied by the School of Education and Mail Services and Rapid Copy.

Questions and Comments Regarding Project:

For general questions regarding project schedule and scope, please contact Brad Bunzey, in Facilities at 442-4104.

Project Photos \ Renderings:
Click the image below to start the slideshow