The largest project in Seattle University history, the 120,000-sq-ft renovation and expansion of the Lemieux Library, officially opens this month.

Hitting the Books: Seattle University Library Wraps Up
Image courtesy Mithun

Mortenson Construction, Bellevue, started construction on the $34-million project in June of 2009, including renovating the decades-old, six-story building, plus seismic upgrades and renovation of the mechanical and electrical systems. Mortenson also added a three story, 33,000-sq-ft learning commons on the east side of the existing structure.

“The entire contents [of the library] were moved into a temporary structure while construction took place,” says David Bonewitz, a Seattle-based project management consultant and the owner’s representative on the project. 

The space will provide more computer stations, computerized touch-sensitive walls, study rooms, group instructional areas, a cafe, and a multimedia development center with production, editing and screening space. Students who miss a class with be able to re-watch it at the learning commons, and student projects can be screened in a small theater.

“The University is trying to strengthen the collaboration of the students,” says Bonewitz.

BIM was heavily used on the project, with the 2D documents implemented into one, multidisciplinary model for trade coordination. The project is also pursuing LEED gold, with innovation points coming from the creation of a LEED gold construction trailer. The lighting system and heat pump will provide the greatest energy savings, while the ceiling, insulation and windows create a heating and cooling “envelope” that assist with climate control, says Melissa Teichman, an assistant project manager with Mortenson, in charge of the trailer design.

Use of this green trailer is expected to achieve an energy savings of at least 30%.

Owner: Seattle University
General Contractor: Mortenson Construction, Bellevue
Architect: Mithun Architects, Seattle
Civil and Structural Engineer: Coughlin Porter Lundeen, Seattle
MEP: CDi Engineers, Lynnwood, Wash.