Selected in a design competition, IKM was commissioned to program, plan and design a new Alumni Center for West Virginia University. Two months of intensive effort by members of the Alumni Center Task Force and the design team culminated in a comprehensive program and schematic design.
The design team engaged Alumni Association board members and staff in a collaborative, participatory process aimed at discovering the best possible design responses to the opportunities presented by the site, the program and the budget. Design workshops followed IKM’s clear three-step methodology of “Understanding, Exploring, and Deciding.” In addition, the design team and Task Force made benchmark visits to two new alumni centers to learn from other universities’ recent experience.
A large tower evocative of the WVU main campus, monumental brick entry gates, and a pedestrian-friendly piazza establishes a positive first impression for returning alumni and visitors.
The Alumni Center consists of a club lounge and conferences rooms on the ground floor, with administrative offices and a boardroom on the second floor. This simplified plan layout allows functional flexibility and offers potential operating cost savings.
The WVU Alumni Center hosts many high profile events for the University’s alumni. The new facility will be able to serve as many as 1,000 people at a single event. It also has a Grand Hall able to accommodate 400 people for a sit-down dinner. Other spaces include an outdoor pre-/post-event space, a club room with bar, and several meeting rooms. The facilities are available for rental for weddings, special occasions and other non-alumni events. The facility includes a full service kitchen where all food cooking and preparation occurs.