C.W. Driver Companies a leading builder serving California since 1919, , today announced completion of the three-story Swenson Family Hall of Engineering at Chapman University, the new home of the Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler School of Engineering. The project consisted of a 31,000 square-foot interior build-out within the existing Keck Center for Science and Engineering, built by C.W. Driver Companies in 2018 as the largest, most expensive and most technologically advanced project in the university’s history. Now open, the dedicated engineering wing includes innovations that mirror those of the school’s curriculum, which engages students and faculty in interdisciplinary collaboration to help solve global challenges and build for the future.
“We were honored to partner with Chapman University in constructing a both beautiful and highly functional hall for its newest academic program, the Fowler School of Engineering,” said Karl Kreutziger, president, C.W. Driver Companies. “Our long history of constructing higher education and research facilities for Chapman University and colleges across the state enabled us to deliver a cutting-edge facility designed to foster collaboration, reconfiguration and blur the lines between teaching and education.”
The Swenson Family Hall of Engineering occupies three consecutive floors and includes research and teaching labs, state-of-the-art equipment for fabrication, an extensive makerspace and robotics lab, an open faculty suite, a variety of student and faculty collaboration spaces and a dean’s suite. The upper floors are connected by a grand and visually attractive staircase with surrounding seating areas that encourage connection and conversation. The lower level is a collaborative student space traversed by a gallery or “ideation path” that connects the facility to the rest of the Keck Center for Science and Engineering. Research pods, teaching labs and study alcoves can be found on the second floor, while the third floor is dedicated to an innovative faculty suite with workspaces, collaboration zones and meeting rooms.
The namesake for the hall is a dedication to Jim Swenson and the Swenson Family Foundation for their generous $5 million donation to Chapman University. Jim Swenson, who passed away in 2018, was the pioneer of Details Inc., the fastest quick-turnaround engineering prototype circuit board shop in the nation. His legacy of transforming a vision into entrepreneurial success provides inspiration to faculty and the next generation of engineers at Chapman.
C.W. Driver Companies has brought to life several new educational facilities for Chapman University, including the 149,697-square-foot Keck Center for Science and Engineering, home to the Schmid College of Science and Technology and Fowler School of Engineering. Additional projects for Chapman have included the Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine, The Lastinger Tennis Center and the transformation of Argyros Forum into a student union.
“The opening of the Keck Center’s science wing in 2018 signaled a tremendous step forward in the STEM fields at Chapman University,” said Collette Creppell, vice president of campus planning and design, Chapman University. “Thanks to the valuable expertise of C.W. Driver Companies in building the Swenson Family Hall of Engineering, our new Fowler School of Engineering has a place to call its own. The facility will be paramount to attracting high-quality faculty and talented students pursuing undergraduate and graduate-level study of engineering, which in turn will help meet the growing demands of the California economy.”
Founded in 1861, Chapman University is a nationally-ranked private university located in Orange. Chapman is categorized by the Carnegie Classification as an R2 “high research activity” institution and offers personalized education to more than 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler School of Engineering is the school’s newest academic program, led by Founding Dean Andrew Lyon and offering majors in computer engineering, computer science, data science, electrical engineering and software engineering.
C.W. Driver Companies worked alongside Chapman University’s Campus Planning Department and AC Martin Partners, Inc. on the project. Additional higher education projects by C.W. Driver Companies include a four-story classroom building for the University of California, Santa Barbara; Biola University’s Alton and Lydia Lim Center for Science, Technology and Health; Loyola Marymount University’s Life Sciences Building; California State University Dominguez Hill’s Science and Innovation Building; and Orange Coast College’s Kinesiology and Athletics Complex, Student Union Complex, and Literature & Languages and Social & Behavioral Sciences Complex, among many others.