Madison College is undergoing a campus-wide building project incorporating design trends for higher education spaces, the most visible of which is providing students a more integrated academic and social experience. The main campus building, now named the Gateway Building, features a welcoming entrance with a state-of-the-art 3-story atrium filling the area with natural light. The library has been relocated to this prominent area and is part of the third floor collaborative neighborhood. The new Student Achievement Center (SAC) is just below the library on the second floor, next to the cafe and coffee shop.
The true benefits of the college improvements are evident as students and faculty fill these areas, including the artfully designed over-sized hallways filled with soft seating, tables, and benches. They provide an enriched student experience that fosters socialization, networking, studying, and relaxing. In the library students are greeted with a mix of open and quiet spaces for individual and group study. There is an abundance of comfortable soft seating, rows of computer tables, a teaching lab with larger monitors, 4 group study rooms equipped with the latest technology and whiteboards, and a quiet study room. Existing shelving received an upgrade with a variety of end panel styles, some featuring markerboard panels and some featuring iPad technology. The iPad end panels were custom designed by Demco facilitating access to the library database within the stacks. Librarians and students love this easy access.
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Library Director, Julie Gores, and her staff were pleasantly surprised by having over 12,000 library visitors in just the first week of classes! Attributing this to the planning, design, and new amenities never-before offered to students, Gores happily states, “Now we can accommodate all student preferences with modern comforts and a little bit of cool.” Students also enjoy a new library commons area, located outside of the library entrance on the 3rd floor, where they can study alone or in groups, charge their devices or share ideas.
The recently constructed Health Education Center is now home to numerous programs including a site for a local health clinic. Students of the programs benefit from the latest technology, prepping them for their new careers, while clinic patients enjoy a comfortable area to wait for appointments. Similar to the Gateway Building, the Health Building has a 2-story light-filled entrance featuring a variety of seating, study areas, and computer/power access. Each floor of the building has areas for students to gather and study before and after classes carrying through the focus on an enhanced academic and social experience. The health building also features a 13,000 square foot eco-friendly roof, LED indoor lighting, and rain gardens around the building, supporting a key initiative in the College’s Smart Future Building Plan.