In the last six years, the student body at the
Minneapolis Community and Technical College
(MCTC) has grown by leaps and bounds.
MCTC responded by expanding the Helland Student Center and its Fine Arts Lobby, which will have its grand opening on May 3.
The modern structure is defined by plenty of natural light, open space, and vibrant colors, according to Dawn Skelly, a spokesperson for the school. “We wanted a place that students could call their own, that’s dedicated to student services and student life,” she says.
With more than 40 student groups on campus, MCTC needed a centralized gathering location. Previously, “There was no single space for students to gather,” she says. “The only quiet place was the library and it’s always full.”
At the same time, the school’s Boynton Health Service, which opened in 2010, was also looking for more room. That was something that students repeatedly said they wanted, she says.
Today, the revamped student center houses an expanded health clinic, a recreation center where sports equipment and games can be checked out, a convenience store, a juice/snack bar, and lots of space for studying, meeting, and hanging out, says Skelly.
Study spaces are meant to be comfortable and they’re equipped with computers and electrical outlets to accommodate people’s technology needs, she adds. Community members are able to rent the meeting spaces in the three-level student center.
Another part of the project involved remodeling the theater lobby, which now opens onto Loring Park. One of the school’s goals was to reconnect the campus to the park, and the whole building is oriented toward that area, she says.
MCTC also wanted to “have the building flow seamlessly from the neighboring building,” she says. “We wanted it to be an open space that would provide the opportunity to bring our various communities together."
Source: Dawn Skelly, Minneapolis Community and Technical College
Writer: Anna Pratt