Trivers and Cooper Robertson Collaborate on Design for New Enterprise Center at Drury University

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Trivers and New York City-based architecture and urban design firm Cooper Robertson have completed the C.H. “Chub” O’Reilly Enterprise Center at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri.

As associate architect, Trivers collaborated with architect of record Cooper Robertson to design the $27 million, 67,348-square-foot facility allotting new space for the university’s Breech School of Business Administration, Department of Political Science and International Affairs, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Meador Center for Politics & Citizenship, and Robert and Mary Cox Compass Center. The state-of-the-art campus hub includes 11 cutting-edge, collaborative educational spaces; 46 faculty offices; and an 11,000-square-foot, 477-seat conference center able to hold workshops, panels and performances for students as well as the Springfield community. It will also be adding a restaurant, Einstein Bros. Bagels.

The three-story Enterprise Center is the first new education building on Drury’s campus in 20 years and the first major project in the school’s master plan, which provides a vision for how the institution will physically develop, grow and evolve over the next several decades.

“This is truly a historic day for our university and for Springfield,” said Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd. “When Drury opened its doors nearly 150 years ago, we were the first institution in Springfield, and the surrounding areas, to offer higher educational opportunities. Today our legacy as a trailblazer continues.”

Trivers led interior architecture, interior design and construction administration and observation efforts for the project. As experts on modern, active learning environments, the team created classrooms with movable chairs and tables, portable whiteboards and multiple display screens. These flexible, high-tech spaces support a wide range of teaching methods and learning styles.

“These classrooms are designed to engage students in the process of learning through group activities and discussions,” said Ashley Hoolihan, AIA, Trivers project manager and associate. “Instead of just passively listening to a presenter, students can participate in experiential education opportunities that will better prepare them for their careers.”

Each classroom offers a view of the building’s three-story atrium, which boasts a grand staircase, multiple collaborative spaces and large windows filling the facility with natural light.

“In addition to making a powerful first impression, this modern, light-filled atrium embodies the university’s commitment to growth and innovation,” Hoolihan said.

Other partners for the project included Nabholz Construction (general contractor), KPFF Consulting Engineers (structural engineering), Lee Engineering (civil engineering), and IMEG Corp. (mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering and lighting). Members of the design team as well as university leaders and key community stakeholders such as Springfield Mayor Ken McClure celebrated the completion of the facility during a ribbon-cutting ceremony in October.

“The Enterprise Center is true to the underpinnings of the master plan that envisioned it,” said Cooper Robertson partner John Kirk, AIA. “This is a state-of-the-art facility for Drury and the wider community, and it reflects the university’s forward-thinking mission of creating the environment and opportunity for highly interactive, intimate and engaged experiential learning.”

Trivers has partnered with numerous higher education institutions on a variety of projects, from a new college of optometry in Kentucky to renovations for Washington University in St. Louis. The firm’s collaborative, iterative design process gives all stakeholders a voice, leading to a singular vision that supports student success and the institution’s mission.