New Mexico State University
HB Construction recently completed a 51,000 sq ft facility for the New Mexico State University Art Department and University Art Museum. Named after longtime supporters of the arts community, Rama and Ammu Devasthali, the highly anticipated project breathes new life into the NMSU art program.
Since 1972, NMSU’s art department has held classes Dan Williams Hall, a former gymnasium. With the 82-year-old building hindering their ability to grow and attract students, the University needed a dedicated space to offer quality art education. The new building’s unmatched training, collaboration, and support spaces responds to this need and then some. The facility is built to serve, and even inspire, a new generation of arts and media professionals.
The construction of Devasthali Hall posed unique challenges. Active campus construction, combined with a hard move-in deadline, required detailed planning and coordination. HB worked with NMSU to devise a two-phase plan to meet the fall semester occupancy date. After the first phase was complete and students moved in, HB built temporary walls to separate active areas while the museum portion was finished.
During construction, our team used Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to effectively plan and execute utility tie-ins. This technology was used to capture utility locations accurately, then import into the project model as a baseline for accurate tie-ins. The design and construction team used the information to re-route underground chilled water and steam lines from the University’s central plant. This change to the original design eliminated clash with the building’s structural foundation.
Devasthali Hall provides specialized studios and multi-purpose areas for NMSU’s diverse art and culture curriculum. Studios include both indoor and outdoor space for woodworking, drawing and painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, ceramics, and jewelry-making. Each classroom required sophisticated Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) systems to support equipment and tool functions. High-performance MEP features include ceiling-mounted snorkel exhaust fume hoods to ventilate work areas. Humidity and air controls were installed in the ceramics studio and art conservation lab to regulate the environment for sensitive materials. The museum, which houses traditional collections of art, features a specialty dry fire suppression system that uses chemicals to extinguish flames without damaging valuable artwork.
To ensure optimal performance of each system, HB and MEP/F subcontractors performed rigorous verification and testing. Coordination was driven through a continually updated Building Information Model, which required daily coordination. All equipment and systems were validated based on design intent, performance, and safety.
Exterior stone cladding and other custom finishes showcase the detail and quality at Devasthali Hall. When walking through the building, the display of specialty items and materials is astounding. From programmable color lighting to track-suspended partition walls, each aspect of the project required special attention. To avoid impacts to the project schedule, HB procured long-lead specialty items early. In addition to detailed planning, the team maintained temperature and humidity conditions during construction to protect installed materials.
The facility is a showcase for sustainable design and construction. LEED® features include high-performance MEP systems and daylight harvesting. The project is on course to receive LEED® Silver certification. During construction, HB’s operations efforts led to a documented reduction in waste and strict air quality management.
To see other HB Higher Education and Career Training Facility projects visit: https://hbconstruction.com/higher-education/