Friday, September 2, 2011

PC's New Student Union Set to Open in December

(Phoenix, Ariz., Sept. 1) – Phoenix College students are getting a comfortable gathering space on campus when the new Student Union is completed in December. The renovated 10,000-square-foot building in the heart of campus will feature ample space for club and student meetings, a game room, a conference room, a Starbucks café, computer usage areas, large video screens, and the Bear’s Den, a traditional hangout for students to relax and socialize.

The construction project is one of two major construction projects going on at the central city campus. The other is the addition of a one-stop enrollment center to the existing Hannelly Center. The project is the centerpiece of the PC strategy to provide efficient student services in one centralized area. The project will also feature a long-awaited “gateway” to the PC campus. The prominent entrance will have a shade canopy.

Grand opening celebrations for both buildings are slated for January 2012.

“Any student will be able to come in, do their homework or meet up with friends,” said Genesis Toole, Director of Student Life and Leadership, which will be located in the new Student Union. “We’re excited about the challenge of seeing more students use the Student Union.”

The new Student Union building was originally built in 1938. The refurbished building will have historical touches from its past such as the original tall windows. It also will feature exposed steel tresses in the roof, skylights, original brickwork, and even some redwood panels found in the attic that will be used in the interior design of a Starbucks coffee bar.

“From the exterior standpoint, we have returned it to its former glory," said Doug McCarthy, PC’s Director of College Facilities Planning and Development. “We’ve painstakingly worked to highlight some of its design features.”

The interior will have wireless connection and laptop recharging stations, soft spaces with movable furniture, and a kitchen for club use as well as a conference room and a back patio with outdoor seating.

The Hannelly Center expansion and renovation adds 17,000 square feet of new space to the existing 34,000 square foot center.

The new One-Stop Enrollment Center for students will house Admissions and Records, Financial Aid, Advisement, International Student Center, Veterans Services and Recruitment and Retention. The center’s goal is to eliminate the traditional silo approach to service delivery. Students will be directed to zones where they will receive assistance.

“We want students to do everything they need to do as far as enrollment and matriculation services in one space,” said Yira Brimage, PC’s Vice President of Student Affairs. “Before it may have taken visits to four or five buildings.”

The second phase of Hannelly Center construction project will add a new cafeteria, an enhanced lower level that will house Counseling and Testing as well as an Atrium that provides inside spaces for students. That phase is expected to be completed by January 2013.

Funding for both projects came from a 2004 bond election passed by Maricopa County voters.

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