Wayland Academy ~ Residence Hall Renovation

Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

Project Description

Wayland is a boarding, coeducational, non-denominational, preparatory college campus for high school students. The four-story Wayland Hall, built in 1855, was the first building on campus and has undergone remodeling throughout its history. The current renovation is the most extensive, encompassing a total rebuilding of the interior, creating student and faculty housing which provides a shared private bathroom and shower located between two bedroom suites.

Prior to the start of construction, the Boldt team engaged in an extensive planning and design effort with the owner. The team spent almost two years pre-planning the project and engaged Boldt’s internal experts to work on the project planning, budget, layout and schedule. This collaborative effort provided verification to the owner that the project would indeed be able to be completed within six months and was critical in moving the project forward.

Main Lobby
The main lobby was redesigned for guests and a quiet area where students could gather for studies or conversation. The adjacent TV rooms offer a separate area where students can gather for relaxation. Also adjacent is the staff office which provides reception and supervision.

Five Faculty Residences
The faculty residences include living, dining and kitchen space along with two bedrooms and a bathroom. Some of the brick walls remain exposed revealing the buildings historical structure.

Thirty-three Student Suites
The two–bed bedrooms share a toilet and shower room. The new furniture allows the students to configure their beds, dressers and desks into a variety of layouts that fit into the different room layouts.

Study Alcoves
The existing staircases and the fire escape were removed. The two new staircases in opposite corners of the building allow for greater life safety, daylight into the corridors and views of the campus from sitting alcoves. The removal of the center staircase also allowed two faculty residences to be centrally located and accessible from an additional private back stair. These renovations allowed student lounges and study areas on each floor.

Laundry, Vending and Kitchenette
The laundry, vending and kitchenette are located in the garden level along with electrical and data closets. The existing garden level boiler room was renovated into a faculty living room and bedrooms.

Donor wall
The donor wall is a historical timeline for the 150 year old building, and is woven with the people who contributed their time and money to help recreate Wayland Hall for future generations.

Wayland Academy conducted massive fundraising efforts to raise funds for the renovation project and also received some in-kind donations. The project team needed to remain flexible in order to account for donated construction services and owner provided efforts.

Sustainable features of the project include:

  • Insulating the entire building with spray foam insulation and installing new energy efficient windows and doors to conserve heating

  • The double hung windows also allow for natural ventilation

  • The five faculty residences use energy efficient mini splits for air conditioning in summer months

  • New radiant in floor heat and energy efficient boilers also provide an energy efficient and comfortable living environment

  • New electrical lights and distribution system contribute to reduce electrical energy demand

  • New plumbing fixtures reduce the water consumption

Project Challenges

  • Phase I included coordination with a student occupied building. Strict safety procedures were enforced to protect the students, visitors, campus personnel and construction workers.

  • Analysis, design and construction accommodated differing conditions discovered during demolition. Differing conditions included water and age damaged structural members, lack of footings and framing elements smaller than assumed during design. Leveling of floors that were four inches different from one end of the building to the other require unique solutions.

  • Project schedule- the scheduling and phasing was the most challenging aspect to this project as students remained in the north two thirds of the building during the first three months of construction. Phase I included complete demolition and partial remodel of the south one third of the building. Phase II included competing the south building remodel, demolition of the building’s north section and finishing the entire building remodeling.

  • Introducing current building codes to this 150 year old facility was a difficult challenge, but an important one. Many aspects of Wayland Hall were non-code compliant, along with many accessibility issues. A wide variety of these issues were resolved during the renovation project.

Learn more about our design/build capabilities.


Boldt Technical Services

Boldt's Role


Key Points

  • The design and renovation maintained the original character of the building while providing modern amenities. Boldt was brought on board to lead this monumental renovation project all within a six-month compressed time frame.
  • Historical renovation is a special niche for Boldt due to their experienced project crews. Crews are credited with having keen eyes for detail and being able to trouble-shoot on the jobsite


  • AGC Build WI Award