Idaho State University – Eames Complex Renovations (Phases I & II)
Pocatello, Idaho / 2021
Idaho State University welcomes the William M. and Karin A. Eames Advanced Technical Education and Innovations Complex (Eames Complex), a major renovation consolidating many of ISU’s College of Technology programs under one roof for the first time. Originally constructed as a 200,000 sf medical manufacturing facility, then repurposed as the Rise Complex research facility, the Eames Complex is now home for some of the most in-demand programs offered by the College of Technology – a number of which offer unique skills instruction not found elsewhere in the nation. These unique offerings and the quality of the programs provide extremely high job placement rates upon completion. With this renovation, the College enters a new era with opportunities for synergy and collaboration among faculty and students now that key programs are housed together in a facility with many shared resources for the College.
The ISU College of Technology programs hosted in the Eames complex with this renovation include: Auto-Collision Repair & Refinishing, Automotive Service and Technology, Diesel Technology, Trades and Welding, On-Site Power*, Business and Support Services and Marketing and Recruitment. These programs join Machining, CADD Drafting, and administrative functions already housed in the complex. These added programs use an array of large and specialized equipment that necessitate careful coordination, with both existing and new equipment requiring cataloguing to verify spatial, structural, and utility requirements during planning and design phases. Along with the educational spaces, the renovation provides shared resources for the College to support general education classes, testing, and student gatherings with a multipurpose room and commons sized for all-school events.
Specific design elements were incorporated to provide more functional learning spaces and to promote recruitment and visibility. Skylights and glazed overhead doors were provided into each space for daylighting and views of the mountains to south and west. Windows provided along the main corridors allow views into each program bay for potential students and industry partners to see the work occurring in each program without having to enter noisy or potentially dangerous environments. Provisions were made to continue the College of Technology’s popular ‘live work’ offerings – where the public can have work done on their own equipment. This provides valuable hands-on experience to students, and a reduced cost to customers. Showers and lockers are provided to support those ‘non-traditional’ students who need a good place to transition between classes and their current employment – much of which is full-time.
The response to date from faculty, students, and the community reinforce the significance of workforce training in today’s educational landscape – and show how thoughtful and appropriate design can support the life-changing opportunities Career Technical Education can provide.
*On-Site Power, designed concurrently, begins construction in Spring of 2021 as Phase III of the Eames Complex.