Creating a Comprehensive Science Complex

W.M. Keck Science Center

Linfield University

The W.M. Keck Science Center will create an interdisciplinary, research-based STEM complex with room for future growth. The project will provide new teaching and research laboratory space for the Departments of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, new classrooms, faculty offices, a large multipurpose room that also serves as a Fermentation Laboratory, and a welcoming lobby.


84,400 sf


McMinnville, OR

Year Complete


  • Contractor

    Walsh Construction

  • Structural Engineer


  • Civil Engineer


  • Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing Engineer

    PAE Engineers

  • Landscape Architect

    Lango Hansen

  • Lab Planner

    Research Facilities Design

  • Acoustical Engineer

    Acoustics by Design

  • AV Engineer

    Spectrum Systems Design

  • Cost Estimator

    Rider Levett Bucknall

This new center will have a transformational impact on this college, and the W. M. Keck Foundation is pleased to be part of it. From the increased dedicated space for faculty‑student collaborative research, to the enhanced interdisciplinary teaching and learning opportunities the project will provide, we know amazing work and learning will take place. Lucinda Day Fournier, Linfield Trustee, Vice President, and a Director of the W.M. Keck Foundation

An Addition and Two Renovations

The project includes a 34,000 square foot new addition, a substantial renovation of Graf Hall that includes a voluntary seismic upgrade, and a moderate renovation of Murdock Hall. Two phases of construction are assumed to minimize disruption and allow instruction to continue during the renovation.

Key Planning Principles that Promote Collaboration between Academic Disciplines:

  • Locate Faculty Student Research in the heart of the building.
  • Locate faculty offices together to promote interdisciplinary science. Group near research if possible with good access to rest of buildings.
  • Compliment the heart of the building with student learning space grouped together
  • Locate vertical circulation areas close to the heart to facilitate movement and connections
  • Create neighborhoods for departments adjacent to paths. Connect upper division labs to research to facilitate joint use of the space
  • Anchor Student Interaction areas to beacon students to primary entries and sprinkle nodes throughout.

Outdoor Amenities

Directly north of the fermentation room on the north side of Graf Hall, an outdoor terrace is proposed for organized event space as well as potential daily use as outdoor classroom space. The south facing entry plaza at the new addition will create a welcoming environment for students and faculty and is located along a main route of pedestrian travel at the termination of Renshaw Avenue to the south. At this location the building will have a strong indoor/outdoor connection and this will be reinforced in the plaza through the use of specialty paving and a generous amount of fixed seating for daily use.