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STCC, Ann Beha Architects Receive Excellence in Planning Award

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) and Ann Beha Architects (ABA) of Boston were honored for a renovation project which will transform a 19th-century warehouse into a modern center of campus life.

STCC and ABA received the 2017 Honor Award for “Excellence in Planning for a District or Campus Component” for the Ira H. Rubenzahl Student Learning Commons, which is under construction. The Society for College and University Planning presented the award in July.

“The Rubenzahl Student Learning Commons is truly a unique project,” STCC President John Cook said. “Historic renovation is not always easy, but for STCC it is essential. On behalf of our students, we remain excited about the transformation of our campus.”

With an estimated completion date of fall 2018, the 100,000-square-foot Ira H. Rubenzahl Student Learning Commons — now known at STCC as Building 19 — will become the center of campus life for 8,000 students. Building 19, once a storehouse for gun stocks, predates the Civil War. One of the goals of the $50 million project is to honor the past while embracing state-of-the-art, energy-efficient technology.

In charge of the design, ABA played a key role in transforming the historic structure into a modern space for students. Construction crews are replicating historic features to match the look and color of the original building.

The 767-foot-long building will house essential student services, including advising, tutoring, career services, the library, and more. Students will have access to social spaces and a café. About 150 staff will work in the building.

According to Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) Commissioner Carol Gladstone, “the Baker-Polito administration is pleased to see the renovation project team recognized for its work in creating a new, energy-efficient space for STCC students while preserving a piece of the Commonwealth’s history.”

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