Prem S. Paul Research Center at Whittier School

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Prem S. Paul Research Center at Whittier School

Sinclair Hille Architects provided architectural services to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for renovation of the former Whittier Junior High School into a prominent university research center.

The building is located in the University’s Research and Development (R&D) sector and is the home for important energy science and transportation research programs. These programs conduct cutting-edge research on alternative biofuels as well as transportation safety products such as the “safewall” technology developed for the auto racing industry.

An important aspect of the project was to maintain the historic character of the 1923 building, the first Junior High School building constructed in the nation, which holds historic significance in the context of education and architecture.

The project renovated 86,000 s.f. of the existing building for use as a research facility and child development center. Original 1923 design features were restored including reopening ventilation patterns and large window areas to allow natural air and daylight into the building. New graceful archways mimic original window profiles, and skylights were converted to clerestory windows.

The north annex of the existing building was renovated for use as a Child Development Center (CDC), providing 13,000 s.f. of support services to faculty, staff, and students. The interior of the CDC was designed by another firm, with exterior shell contracted by Sinclair Hille.


The Concordia University Team has always worked through the design process with Sinclair Hille’s leadership and come away feeling like our project priorities were understood. Setting overall project goals in the initial design meeting with Sinclair Hille has proven to be a key to our success.

Dave Kumm

CFO, Concordia University