Inheriting the former Springfield National Armory site and buildings in 1968, the college severely lacked space for students to gather, socialize, or study, and college departments were dispersed across campus, making academic resources and student services difficult to find. A planning study recommended consolidating these departments at the heart of the campus, creating a one-stop student services center and learning commons.
The project restores and adapts the never-before occupied Springfield National Armory’s Long Storehouse into a new vibrant center. Stretching 764 feet long, the new Campus Center consolidates academic services and student life departments into a single building at the center of campus with easy access for students. The planning and design process involved working with 29 departments to maximize the proximities, efficiencies, and economies from the consolidation of resources.
The departments and student program spaces were organized into four major hubs: the Student Enrollment and Academic Advising Centers simplify enrollment processes and consolidate access to student services; the Student Life Center includes a café, the bookstore, and meeting areas for students to study and socialize; and the Learning Commons combines the college’s library with instructional spaces, tutoring, and information technology services.
The design approach for the project preserves and celebrates the exposed building structure and historic materials, balancing interventions for new programs, modern building systems, accessibility, and life safety with the building’s remarkable character. Technical investigations, tests, and design mock-ups informed the design approach and enabled the project team to preserve original fabric, and restore original colors and finishes alongside a new and complementary palette of materials and finishes and contemporary design.
Ann Beha Architects; also Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM); RSE Associates; Alteiri Sebor Wieber; Jensen Hughes; Vermeulens; Sladen Feinstein Integrated Lighting; Nitsch Engineering; National Park Service; Consigli Construction Company