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Ann Beha Architects

Ann Beha Architects

Boston, MA

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Springfield Technical Community College Student Learning Commons. Photo credit: Chuck Choi
Springfield Technical Community College Student Learning Commons. Photo credit: Chuck Choi
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Springfield Technical Community College, Student Learning Commons

As the only technical community college in Massachusetts, with an annual enrollment of more than 7,400 day, evening, weekend, and online students, Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) offers educational and career programs unparalleled in the state. The college was founded in 1967 and occupies 35 acres of the Springfield Armory National Historic Site. ABA’s design for a new Student Learning Center in a former armory storehouse integrates sustainable site design, modern building systems, and technology upgrades to a 767-foot-long, 150-year-old building while maintaining the site’s historical integrity.

Constructed in four phases from 1846 through 1863, the masonry storehouse was inherited by STCC in 1968. The transformation of the deteriorated structure into the Student Learning Center provided an innovative solution to a longstanding and vexing campus problem known as the “STCC Shuffle.” Because student services were dispersed across the site, often in difficult-to-find locations, prospective students get lost, discouraged, or simply abandon the frustrating process of enrolling and continuing their education.

Working with STCC, ABA consolidated the Student Learning Center program into four major hubs and centers, integrating essential student services to ensure students receive the necessary support to transform their lives. The Student Enrollment and Academic Advising Centers simplify enrollment processes and improve access to student services. The Learning Commons combines the STCC library with instructional spaces, tutoring, and information technology services. The Student Center includes a café, bookstore, and meeting areas for students to study and socialize at the new center of their campus. The site design provides a new campus identity by recovering former green space and creating a walkable landscape. Pedestrian connections to other buildings and open spaces are improved and created while restoring the historical character of the campus.

 
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Status: Built
Location: Springfield, MA, US
Firm Role: Architect
Additional Credits: Consigli Construction (Milford, MA); RSE Associates, Inc (Watertown, MA); Altieri Sebor Weiber (Norwalk, CT); Jensen Hughes, Inc. (Framingham, MA); Vermeulens (Boston, MA); Sladen Feinstein Integrated Lighting (Boston, MA); Kalin Associates (Newton, MA); Nitsch Engineering (Boston, MA); CRJA | IBI Group (Boston, MA); Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc. (Pawtucket, RI); The Green Engineer, Inc. (Concord, MA); Jaffe Holden (Norkwalk, CT); Structures North Consulting Engineers, INC. (Salem, MA); VDA (Preservation Technology Associates, LLC (Chestnut Hill, MA); BVH (Boston, MA); Anna Farrington (Cambridge, MA), ATC (Agawam, MA)

 
Asphalt paved parking is replaced by a sustainable and pedestrian-focused landscape, connecting the new Learning Commons to the campus. Photo credit: Chuck Choi
Asphalt paved parking is replaced by a sustainable and pedestrian-focused landscape, connecting the new Learning Commons to the campus. Photo credit: Chuck Choi
The primary student entrance serves as a portal from the campus to the Learning Commons, student café, and bookstore. Photo credit: Chuck Choi
The primary student entrance serves as a portal from the campus to the Learning Commons, student café, and bookstore. Photo credit: Chuck Choi
The Student Activities and Student Government meeting room incorporates the historical architecture and provides generous views of the campus. Photo credit: Chuck Choi
The Student Activities and Student Government meeting room incorporates the historical architecture and provides generous views of the campus. Photo credit: Chuck Choi
The two-story Learning Commons combines the campus library with information technology support, instructional spaces, and individual and group study settings. Photo credit: Chuck Choi
The two-story Learning Commons combines the campus library with information technology support, instructional spaces, and individual and group study settings. Photo credit: Chuck Choi
The renovated attic is day-lit from the floor below and new skylights, accommodating group study and conference rooms for the Learning Commons. Photo credit: Chuck Choi
The renovated attic is day-lit from the floor below and new skylights, accommodating group study and conference rooms for the Learning Commons. Photo credit: Chuck Choi
The new double-height library reading room at the east end of the building offers panoramic views of the campus. Photo credit: Chuck Choi
The new double-height library reading room at the east end of the building offers panoramic views of the campus. Photo credit: Chuck Choi