Parkland College officials will break ground on a new 113,000-sq.-ft. Student Services Center on Monday, April 16 at 4 p.m. at the campus's circle drive.
Paid for through bond sale proceeds from Parkland's Campus Master Plan and through funds from the state's Capital Development Board, Parkland’s $28 million Student Services Center project should be completed by fall 2013 or spring 2014. It will house in a centralized area all of the services necessary to recruit, admit, orient, advise, register, and assess Parkland students; additional student lounge, food service, and large-group meeting space; the Parkland Bookstore; and other service facilities requiring more efficient traffic flow during busy registration times. The new facility will meet the LEED-Gold standard for sustainable building design/construction. Poettker Construction of Breese, Illinois, has been selected as general contractor for the new student center.
“The new Student Services Center will provide an identifiable front door to Parkland's campus that will welcome our students and community,” said Parkland Vice President for Student Services Dr. Linda Moore. “In addition to improving services to students by locating student services offices in logical proximity to each other, this building has been designed to encourage student success by providing appealing space for quiet and group study and extracurricular events that enrich our students' college experience.” Dr. Moore and her team, along with Physical Plant Director Jim Bustard, worked along with architects and contractors to finalize the plans for new construction.
The 113,000-sq.-foot center is the answer to decades of space problems brought on by enrollment growth at the college.
At present, Parkland student club or organization meetings and student recreation and socializing often are conducted in the open areas of X-wing (the college center), while group staff development activities often need to be conducted off campus. The new center will provide additional large-group meeting rooms and a more spacious area for students to gather without overcrowding the X-wing, along with adequate food service space.
The new facility will be built to meet the LEED-Gold standard of the U.S. Green Building Council for sustainable building design and construction.
“It will be an aesthetically pleasing, yet supremely functional structure, housing our full array of student services, aligned in a coherent and navigable fashion, and designed to engage our community in learning,” said Parkland President Thomas Ramage.
Refreshments from Food for Thought, the college's new food service vendor, will be provided in the Gallery Lounge immediately after the groundbreaking.