Student Commons Renovation and Addition, Aims Community College

The Student Commons project is an addition and renovation to the existing College Center on the Aims Greeley Campus. The Student Commons serves as the heart of campus activity. The Student Commons includes a student lounge, the campus bistro, a bookstore, the learning commons, counseling services, the office of the Dean of Students, TRiO student support services, Disability Access Service (DAS), the Center for Diversity & Inclusion (CDI), and Student Activities Inclusion & Leadership (SAIL). The building also includes student program spaces for student events and organizations. Additionally, the building has an outdoor patio space for studying and lounging, as well as outdoor gathering space for events. The design goals for this project were focused around giving the commons space “back” to the students in order to create a strong sense of activity and buzz on campus. Administration wanted to encourage students to spend more time on campus and to give them a fun and welcoming place to spend time. These goals were accomplished through several steps. A new heart to campus was created by taking the existing, two-sided building, and updating it to be four-sided, with easy access from all directions on campus. The building had previously had a “business center” feel to it, which was eliminated by relocating front door services to the new HCM-designed Welcome Center, and renovating the heart of the building to include a lounge, dining, study spaces, a coffee shop, and gaming spaces. Additionally, the learning commons was previously in an isolated location; by adding a new stair from the main entry, a seamless transition was created from the student spaces to the commons. Lastly, student presence was encouraged by increasing student organization and programming spaces both inside and outside to allow a wide variety of student-led events.

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