Cornerstone University and Western Michigan University Projects Receive Excellence in Construction Awards

The Christman Company is proud to announce that two recently completed projects in the company’s West Michigan region were winners of the Associated Builders and Contractors Western Michigan Chapter (ABC/WMC) 30th Annual Excellence in Construction Awards. The annual event highlights West Michigan’s most innovative and high-quality construction projects, safety efforts and craft professionals. The Excellence in Construction Awards are highly sought after and highlight both individuals and companies in various categories from safety to general construction.  

Cornerstone University’s Christ Chapel won in the category of GC/CM: New Construction $10-26 Million. Fulfilling the longtime dream of the University’s 75-year history, the new chapel continues Cornerstone University’s mission of seeking to create a community of devoted followers who actively influence the world. Chapel is a key part of campus life for students, staff and faculty, and after holding chapel services in a variety of temporary locations for years, including gymnasiums, classroom buildings and nearby churches, this legacy project was a significant milestone in the University’s history. The transcendent structure features a dramatic, open ceiling with clear span bowed trusses. It has a seating capacity for 1,500 and utilizes a platform in the center of the space for an “in the round” effect for speakers and musicians. Four large stained glass windows, designed by European artist Peter Brandes and valued at $1.5 million, were made possible by a local benefactor and serve as focal points on every side of the chapel as they tell the story of the resurrection. 

Western Michigan University’s Heritage Hall Alumni Center won in the category of GC/CM: Renovation/Addition More than $10 Million. Built in 1903, East Hall, now known as Heritage Hall, was WMU’s first building and was the heart of WMU’s original campus. The 53,000 s.f. building was experiencing significant deterioration from old age, and as a space that held countless memories for alumni, an extensive renovation was completed that focused on maintaining historic elements as it was transformed into an alumni center. Perched on the top of Prospect Hill overlooking the city of Kalamazoo, the building is a tangible example of Kalamazoo’s heritage as a community committed to education. Expected to achieve LEED Platinum certification, the project focused heavily on salvaging historic features, using locally sourced new materials and incorporating “green” features like geothermal heating, biodiversity and active measurement of the building’s energy and water usage. Heritage Hall now provides a home for alumni while showcasing the birthplace of the University. As a resource center that houses artifacts, pictures and remembrances that are important to the University’s rich history, it serves as a touchstone for the WMU experience. For the campus and Kalamazoo communities alike, it offers gathering spaces that showcase the town/gown connection and the University’s commitment to sustainability. 

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