Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University | Richmond, Virginia

MCA’s newly acquired Richmond office, formerly KOP Architects, has enjoyed a longstanding A/E Term Contract with VCU since 1995. Over 300 projects with VCU have been completed in 26 years. A few recent projects are highlighted below.

Ackell Residence Center. A suite style dormitory that was built in 2000. The project involved renovations to all 121 suites. The renovations included demolition of all plumbing fixtures, the kitchen cabinets, all flooring, light fixtures, window treatments, and appliances. New sheet vinyl flooring, carpet, wood cabinets, plumbing fixtures, light fixtures, and appliances were installed. The work was performed in two phases over the summer break of two consecutive summers. Schedule was critical for this student housing project, as demo and construction work could only be performed from May 15th to August 1st, when students were not occupying the facility.

Sanger Hall. Originally built in 1963, Sanger Hall had not undergone a major renovation of the School of Medicine administrative offices in over 20 years. Other than the building core and some main conference/classroom spaces, this renovation redesigned the entire first floor for the Department of Internal Medicine, Graduate Education, Research, SoM Facilities Management, and Grants Departments. The goal of the project was to create more open and inviting spaces to “sell” VCU’s School of Medicine to potential faculty, staff, and students. Significant upgrades include a feature wall in the lobby which invite guests and indicate what departments reside in the building, open office areas to allow natural light deeper into the building, and modern finishes.

Surgery Innovation Suite. We provided design analysis and a feasibility study for a proposed surgical research lab in Sanger Hall. Our team developed 3-D renderings and a fly-through animation video for the VCU School of Medicine to use for fundraising and enticing potential donors. This project was completed with MCA prior to the KOP acquisition.

Rice Rivers Environmental Center Research Building. The team was called upon to provide Value Engineering services for VCU’s proposed Rice Rivers Environmental Center. Our challenge was to provide cost effective Value Engineering over a 2-day period, instead of the industry standard 3 to 4-day exercise. Members of our proposed team assembled a “CVS certified” Value Engineering Team, identified just under 15% of the original 18% goal in proposed VE and cost savings, and ultimately saved the university $25K due to the abridged process and efficient use of the Value Engineering Team’s time.

Rice Rivers Environmental Center Research Pier and Boathouse. Located along the James River in Charles City County, our Team provided design services for this first research building, and what would become the Rice Rivers Environmental Center. The research pier and boathouse serves both VCU Department of Environmental Studies and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. The pier supports multiple continuously running experiments, including a current NASA-sponsored water quality research project with satellite tracking equipment.

Have a question about this project?

Contact Ed Gillikin, AIA, LEED AP, VCCO at

Have a question about this project?

Contact Don Guthrie, AIA, LEED AP at

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