Task force to design student lounge

A task force has been assembled for the first MCCC millage-financed project.

The Life Sciences Student Lounge Task Force will design the student lounge that will be built off the north side of the L Building. The college plans to extend the hallway that leads out to the front parking lot.

The task force members are Brian Lay, the manager of Information Systems, Tom Ryder, the Campus Community Events/Student Activities Coordinator,

Biology and Chemistry professor Lori Bean, Geosciences professor Lisa Scarpelli, Biology professor Tracy Rayl, and students Darian Branham and Abraham Ortiz.      

They have volunteered to serve with Jack Burns, the director of Campus Planning and Facilities, the project architect and interior designer/furniture specialist to brainstorm and design the new student lounge. 

The project architect and the interior designer/furniture specialist will help guide the task force through the brainstorming process, Burns said.

The task force will make sure the lounge design properly serves the student body. 

Their first meeting was planned for Friday, Feb. 17. Burns said it will take one or two meetings before they have a design. 

Burns said it was important to include people from Information Systems, faculty, and especially 

“Faculty because they interact with the students more than I do, and see firsthand how they study,” Burns said. 

“Students because they are in the end users, so they know more how they interact in spaces like lounges more than I do,” he said. “I would simply be guessing.”

Burns said the space will be approximately 1,500 square feet. 

He anticipates incorporating a mix of seating. It will have tables and maybe some study booths with amenities like flat panel TVs that students can plug their laptops into.  

“There are a lot of options out there right now, and so I am excited to see what everyone’s thoughts are when they see some catalogs,” Burns said.

If all goes well, construction on the student lounge project will begin this spring, he said.

There are many projects on the list to be accomplished with the millage revenues.

“This is the first of numerous task forces that I will use for the designs of the millage projects.  I can see having task forces for areas such as faculty/staff office spaces, classroom renovations, and student lounges in other buildings,” he said.  

The East/West Tech Buildings project is the next project on the list that will need a task force.

Burns said they have to choose an architecture/engineering firm for that project before he assembles the next task force. The process has started, so he will be looking for volunteers in the next few months.

Each task force will be different. Students will not be on the task forces that will design office spaces for faculty and staff, but they will have input on the changes to the library.  

Burns said he chose students for the Life Sciences Building student lounge by emailing some of the student clubs associated with the Math/Science Division, because they use the building frequently.

“I plan on emailing departments as needed when we get to a space/building that involves them as we progress through our list of millage projects,” Burns said. 

For future projects, Burns may ask professors to recommend students for the task forces. 

“We will also call on existing committees and departments/divisions to assist when appropriate,” he said. 

“We shall see as there are a ton of details that still need to be figured out,” Burns said. 

Burns is excited to see the projects beginning and thanks everyone in advance for their willingness to participate.