Peninsula College’s new Maier Hall almost open for business [**Gallery AND Video**]

PORT ANGELES — The protective construction fence is down, and 61,750-square-foot Maier Hall at Peninsula College is almost ready for its furniture.

The paint has dried.

The acoustics in the Performance Hall have been fine-tuned.

And now the checklist of all the tiny details that need work is being made — all the windows that have trouble opening or buttons that stick have blue tape indicating that they need work.

Soon, materials for pottery classes will be delivered, and student artwork will go up on the hallway walls.

The $36 million building will house art, math, liberal arts and music programs — as well as a 130-seat performance hall

“We’re starting to move in as we speak,” said Peninsula College President Tom Keegan.

“Over the next few months and into the summer, we’ll be moving furniture in and faculty and preparing to start classes here in the fall.”

A grand opening ceremony will take place in the early fall, but a date has not yet been set, Keegan said.

The second-floor overhang is covered by moss as a way to filter rainwater as it runs off the building.

“All of the rain runoff will be filtered and run into the wetlands,”said David Wegener, construction project manager for Peninsula College.

Eco-friendly moss roof

The Science and Technology Building also has a “green” roof, but it includes 16 inches of dirt, whereas the moss roof is light and can easily be rolled off and back on should a leak spring.

“The infrastructure for [Maier Hall] requires much less,” Keegan said.

“When you hold a 3-foot portion of moss, you can hardly tell you are holding anything. You can imagine how much more weight that portion of dirt weighs in the Science and Technology Building.”

The moss, developed by Roy Hellwig of Sequim, the architect for the campus’ Longhouse, is a new process for such a large building.

Once it is refurbished, a totem pole that once sat in front of the buildings that it replaces will be returned, Keegan said.

The totem pole was carved by Peninsula College Trustee Harris “Brick” Johnson, and his family is having it updated.

Pole-raising ceremony

A pole-raising ceremony separate from the grand opening will be scheduled after Maier Hall is open for classes, Keegan said.

Maier Hall — named for E. John Maier, the founding president of Peninsula College, who served from 1961 to 1975 — replaces Buildings F, G, H and I, which were built during Maier’s presidency in the 1960s.

The construction team of Howard S. Wright is from the same company that built the Space Needle in 1962.

Architect Walter Schacht of Schacht Aslani Architects in Seattle did the design.


Reporter Paige Dickerson can be reached at 360-417-3535 or at

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