Hennebery Eddy’s renovation design revitalized the uninviting, bunker-like former Oregon Military Academy into a new Welcome Center at what is now a primary campus entry at Western Oregon University. The 65,000-square-foot, two-story building was first constructed in 1992 and organized around an enclosed, asphalt courtyard originally used to conduct military drills.
WOU’s priorities were to provide a welcoming place for campus visitors — including future students, alumni, multi-generational family members, and the community — that is easy to locate, with clear wayfinding and universal accessibility. Inside the updated entry, the lobby is now expanded from a compressed, dark space into a two-story, light-filled volume. It brings organization to several departments that support the new student experience, alumni programs, and events/conference services. The courtyard was also transformed into a landscaped oasis, with a series of gathering areas of various sizes reflecting the patchwork of mid-Willamette Valley agricultural fields. The large conference facilities and public gathering areas open onto the space, which serves as a departure point for campus tours.