Mabel Lee Hall Renovation & Addition

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Mabel Lee Hall Renovation & Addition

Sinclair Hille Architects was hired by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to develop the Program for the renovation and addition to the existing Mabel Lee Hall to connect to and expand the existing College of Education and Human Sciences program. Mabel Lee Hall, originally built as the UNL Women’s PE Building, contains a swimming pool, two gymnasiums, locker rooms, a dance studio, two computer laboratories, academic classrooms and faculty offices.

The proposed project will fully renovate the existing 101,682 square foot facility and add an additional 27,000 square feet by infilling existing open two-story areas and create a new entry addition. The building will provide program-specific renovations on all four existing levels of the building to house classrooms, research space, group project rooms, collaboration space and the Alumni Learning Technology Center. The new entry addition will be visible from the 14th & Vine streets intersection to help bring greater identity to the building as the home of the College of Education and Human Sciences.

Sinclair Hille utilized their standard Programming Phase format that included Goal Setting / Vision sessions, Information Gathering from Leadership and focus groups, Data Analysis to develop space requirements and relationships, Work sessions to review findings and refine the data, and the completion of the final Program Statement. In the final phase of review, the Program Statement was presented to the Board of Regents for final approval in 2017.

With the floor infill and new addition, the building will be expanded to approximately 128,000 square feet with 88,095 square feet of assignable space for offices, classrooms, research class labs, and student and faculty collaboration space in support of undergraduate and graduate programs. The renovated building will be flexible to meet the future needs of College of Education and Human Sciences programs, while bringing 21st century teaching methods to the forefront.


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I enjoyed working with SHA on the Canopy Street Project.  It was a very complex project which required both large scale design thought as well as a focus on small details. Their professionalism impressed me as well as all of the other clients in the project from restaurants, to hotel operations through condo buyers, SHA continued to move the project forward and solve problems with all in mind.  As a licensed architect myself I really appreciated their willingness to partner with me and listen to my design ideas while improving the direction time and time again. Quite simply, Canopy Street would not have been nearly as successful without SHA’s talented staff.

Brett West