University of Missouri Completes Lafferre Hall Renovation

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The University of Missouri in Columbia recently finished renovations to Lafferre Hall, home to the university’s College of Engineering. The university partnered with Tarlton Corp., a St. Louis-based general contracting and construction management firm, to complete the project.

Lafferre Hall comprises several freestanding buildings on the University of Missouri campus, each with its own foundation and electrical and mechanical support systems. The first sections were constructed in 1892 and 1893 to train engineers working with new innovations at the time, including telephones, combustion engines, and the production and distribution of electricity, according to a statement by Tarlton. Multiple additions to the main building were constructed over the years to accommodate growing student enrollment.

The Tarlton team and more than 30 subcontractors and consultants were tasked with demolishing and renovating the 1935 and 1944 additions of the main building in particular to update teaching facilities and improve building flow. The renovation took place on an active, occupied campus within a tight project site connected on three sides to working facilities.

The project included reconfiguring the building’s interior routes to facilitate better flow; major repairs to the exterior masonry wall on the north face; replacement of windows and roofs in impacted areas to solve water infiltration issues; installation of new mechanical, electrical and plumbing infrastructure systems; and addressing code, accessibility and safety issues.

The renovation spanned 40,000 square feet on the first floor, which now includes experiential teaching and learning laboratories, computer labs, a student machine shop, student team areas, conference rooms, study spaces and a coffee shop, plus 29,000 square feet of research space. Movable laboratory equipment and partitions help maximize the space and potential, and the new spaces offer flexible instruction, provide academic support and foster collaboration for student success.

Construction and renovation costs totaled approximately $31 million, and the project was financed in 2014 by $38.5 million in bonds issued by the Board of Public Buildings of the Office of Administration of the State of Missouri, according to a statement by Tarlton.

“As a construction management firm, we were especially honored to work on a project that will make an indelible impact on engineering students,” said Tracy Hart, president, Tarlton Corp., in a statement. “The renovations to Lafferre Hall provide updated, modern spaces that optimize learning in an environment that is invested in the future development of industry technologies.”

The project team also included Treanor Architects of St. Louis, which served as the lead architect; Peckham & Wright Architects of Columbia, which served as the architect of record; electrical engineer Antella Engineering of Kansas City, Mo.; and Structural Engineering Associates, civil engineer, also of Kansas City.