Building Excellence for over 110 years

JMU Jackson Hall Renovations


James Madison University


Harrisonburg, Virginia


Mather Architects


$5.5 million


November 2020

Standing as one of the encompassing buildings around the iconic “Quad” on James Madison University’s campus, Jackson Hall has experienced many changes over the years. Initially, the building’s first purpose was to be used for dorms and dining when the first students arrived at JMU in 1909. Since then, it has transformed in to an infirmary, the home of the History Department, to now, courtesy of the renovations in 2020, the location of the Justice Studies Department. Nielsen, just months before this project started, completed a massive renovation to Wilson Hall making way for the History Department’s arrival. Jackson Hall was last renovated in 1971 and remains one of the last original buildings around The Quad to undergo modernizations. In total, 14,295 square feet of existing building was renovated and a stair tower addition of 1,554 square feet comprises this project. Relocation of all faculty offices to one floor, adequate facilities for the occupants, and solutions to time-based issues such as water leaks and an aged mechanical system are all included in this renovation. One of the major takeaways, however, is the highly anticipated open space layout being created to promote interaction amongst the students and faculty/staff before and after classes. Additionally, new modern day technological system components installed allow for faster connections and accessibility to campus servers than ever before. On the exterior, besides the addition of the stair tower, the façade will remain the same. Maintaining the historical image of this building was essential, so the beautiful stone will go untouched. Significant landscape work will be done to recreate the healthy grass and vivid vegetation that displayed before demolition around the site.

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