Granger Construction was the Construction Management partner for a 200,000 square-foot (SF) renovation and expansion of Oakland University’s Varner Hall. Varner Hall is a five-story structure, primarily serving Oakland University’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance (SMTD). It includes two performances spaces: the 425-seat Varner Recital Hall for professional and student performances and the Studio Theatre, a smaller venue for SMTD student performances. The building also includes classroom, rehearsal and administrative spaces.
The Varner Hall renovation and expansion aimed to replace critical infrastructure within an outdated building and deliver much-needed enhancements to functionality and aesthetics of student and public spaces.
The primary scope of the project involved a complete update of the building’s infrastructure, including mechanical, electrical, plumbing, lighting and technology systems, interior finishes and toilet rooms, replacement of existing windows and select roofing, elevator replacement and accessibility improvements.
Despite two-thirds of the project budget allocated for deferred maintenance and infrastructure upgrades, the team still managed to deliver a WOW factor with the remaining funds to provide students, staff and the community visible, tangible proof of the University’s investment.
A new addition leading into the recital hall features an elegant lobby, ticket booth, new terrazzo stairs and new and improved restrooms, gathering spaces and concessions. Other key upgrades include new recital hall flooring and seating, stage extension, upgraded control room, new dye vat for the costume shop and new telescopic seating for the black box theater.