The addition of the “University Center” within the Health Sciences + Performing Arts Center building at Sussex County Community College (SCCC) is part of a Campus Master Plan conceived to enhance the College’s visibility, marketability, institutional stature, and community membership. As a turnkey facility supporting program-based learning in STEM and STEAM, it is the College’s first Makerspace—a heartbeat of the campus that provides a “location for hands-on innovation, experimentation and design.” Reimagining the classroom as a cooperative, active and engaging learning environment, high tech and traditional machinery (3D printers, laser cutters, scanners, robotics, and machine shop equipment) is available on multiple levels to teach product prototyping, 3D printing, programming robots, and industrial design. With this addition, the college aims to extend such new resources to public and commercial sectors to create meaningful partnerships with local high schools and businesses.
Situated on the crest of a hill, the University Center serves as the first impression at the entrance of the campus. To reflect a statement of change and innovation, glazing has been added on the exterior façade and seamlessly integrated into the existing brick façade. Rustic materials finish the interiors to promote an “industrial feel”. In addition to Makerspace, the facility features a tiered, lecture-tech room large enough to serve 70 students, a student lobby, multiple common areas with collaboration/huddle spaces, 5 classrooms, a computer lab, and a lounge.