Hillsdale College


Shambaugh & Son, L.P.


Hillsdale College

Services Provided

  • Mechanical
  • Electrical
  • Fire Protection
  • Plumbing
  • Building Automation
Shambaugh team member on a lift working close to ceiling

Value Delivered


Shambaugh installed mechanical (HVAC and plumbing), electrical, fire protection, and building automation systems for this 27,000-square-foot chapel at the center of the Hillsdale campus.  Our team performed extensive layout to make sure all systems were hidden, yet accessible.

We collaborated with the project architect, construction manager, engineering consultant, and Hillsdale College during the value engineering and preconstruction processes, adding construction input to help lower costs without compromising performance or quality.

Client Objectives

Hillsdale College sought to build a chapel for students and faculty, providing space for worship, college ceremonies, concerts and religious services with seating for 1,350 people.

Scope of Services

Shambaugh installed:

  • Mechanical, HVAC, and plumbing systems
    • All plumbing fixtures
    • Domestic water piping
    • Sanitary waste and vent piping

Our mechanical division routed the duct and pipework through some of the chapel’s distinct architectural features, such as cut stone and extensive moldings.

We submitted nave and balcony HVAC units for acoustical review and approval to ensure that the octave-band sound power levels would be within specified and acceptable ranges.

  • Electrical systems
    • Miles of tested cable and wire
    • Indirect lighting, requiring precise measurements and installation techniques
    • Hundreds of lights installed in the 65-feet-high precast radius ceiling panels, each aimed to a specific point

A large percentage of the Chapel’s light fixtures were fabricated in Italy and are custom-made cast brass, including six 1,800-pound chandeliers requiring structural engineering expertise for proper support fabrication.

  • Fire protection systems
    • Fire suppression standpipes
    • Wet and dry pipe sprinkler systems

We concealed the building’s motorized audio/visual fire alarm signaling units within the chapel walls. These units only appear when the fire alarm system is activated.

  • Building automation systems
    • State-of-the-art audio/visual system with iPad-operated interface
    • Digital multiplex signal dimming system controls

Our team used trim and respond logic to match the air handling units’ discharge air temperatures with the loads of this massive open space. This helps prevent setpoint overshooting, which would occur with traditional space temperature control.

Client Background

Hillsdale College is a private liberal arts college in southern Michigan.