Positioned at the center of the academic core of the campus, Building 900 is the optimal location for the Student Center. Surrounded on all sides by landscaped and hardscaped quads, a thoughtful design response will integrate interior and exterior spaces to allow for programs and activities to flow seamlessly.
The modernized building will convert the Library into a Student Center. The Student Center will function as a space where learning and socializing occur simultaneously in an environment designed to embrace and welcome all. The Student Center will fulfill several campus objectives such as providing an environment where events can be staged, and where students can gather informally outside of the classroom. The indoor/outdoor experience will provide space for varied functions and groups and will need to maintain a comfortable scale in all configurations. It will support dining areas, student activities, and presentations. Semi-public functions such as student lounges and meeting spaces will also be part of the open plan.
The design of the student center will derive from a modernization of the existing library, and go beyond any library preconceptions of the past. Older library standards of the past, if used today, would probably result in a design that is too fixed, too big, or too small in all the wrong places. Where once the number of physical books in a room portrayed significance, today the important statistics are how many relevant and engaging services and programs are offered and how many sociable alcoves, intimate spaces, and technology enabled places are available for students to meet in, collaborate, study, learn, hold a club session, chat, write, and more.
The new Student Center will breathe new life into the building, originally designed by Ernest J. Kump, respecting the language of the existing building while incorporating the needs of today’s student.
The modernized quads at Mt. Pleasant will create a sense of community and a cohesive atmosphere for outdoor gathering and learning around all four sides of the new Student Center. The design will provide a thoughtful response to the available space on campus and take visual cues from the existing site features. It will act as an outdoor extension of the Student Center it surrounds and include strategic opportunities for public proclamation/presentation. The entire project will depend on successfully integrating existing features and new features with ease.
Project Budget: $7.1 M
Project Status: Construction
Occupancy/Beneficial Use: May 2018
Architect: Gould Evans
Construction Manager: Gilbane Building Company
Contractor: Strawn Construction