Adams State's oldest building gets extreme makeover


New carpet, paint, furnishings, and finishes - not to mention building insulation - greeted the Adams State University staff who began occupying their new offices in Richardson Hall last month.

Phase I of the building's remodeling project (south and central wings) is essentially complete, and work proceeds on the north wing. The state-funded, $16.9 million remodel of the 90-year-old structure should be completed in the spring, with new landscaping to be finished over the summer. While construction continues, the building may be accessed by the east (main) entrance, and south entrance only.

Budget Analyst Jenny Yund is cozy in the new Business & Finance offices on Richardson Hall's third floor, which previously had been structurally unsound and unusable.

One major benefit of the project was reclamation of 11,000 square feet in the building's third floor, which had previously been unusable.

"One of the coolest things was converting the central attic into the new board room. It required new concrete foundations and structural steel up from the first floor to the roof. New 24-inch beams were installed under the roof to support the loads," said Tyler Read, project manager of GH Phipps Construction Companies. The university's Board of Trustees will hold its first meeting in the new board room Dec. 19.

Read added: "Another important aspect is the effort that went into keeping and restoring the historical character of the building."

Art Professor Dana Provence and his students recreated plaster carvings that had been removed from interior columns over the years, making a mold from the originals that remained.

For example, the main lobby was expanded to its original size and ornate wood trim has been restored. Art students under the director of Professor Dana Provence recreated plaster carvings that had been removed from the lobby's interior columns over the years, making a mold from the originals that remained.

Another component readily visible to passersby is the new roof, constructed with metal tiles that mimic the building's original clay tiles. Each new tile is an individual unit.

What's new in Richardson Hall:

  • 11,000 more usable square footage for a total of 75,000 sf
  • HVAC (heating/ventilation/air conditioning)
  • Electrical & fixtures
  • Plumbing & fixtures
  • IT: all new network cable
  • Windows = 225
  • Doors
  • Insulation = R25 (R50 in roof)
  • Interior finishes & furnishings
  • Roof: metal standing seam roof with metal tiles to mimic historic clay tile
  • Interior finishes & furnishings
  • Complete auditorium renovation: new seats, curtains, acoustic treatments


  • Tower repainted
  • Brick surface cleaned
  • Eaves repaired

By Julie Waechter