MCC-Kingman ready for long-awaited new building

Courtesy

Courtesy

Mohave Community College students on the Kingman campus are in for some changes over the next year - because a bid for a new student center and building renovation was approved by the school's board of directors on Friday.

The board unanimously approved a $3.6 million bid from local contractor T.R. Orr Inc. to construct a new 12,500-square-foot building in the middle of campus, as well as a substantial renovation to the existing building right next door. The project aims to consolidate departments and update the campus.

According to Jess Jacobs, the college's associate dean of business, funding for the project comes from the college's unrestricted fund balance.

"The college has been dedicating these funds as a reserve for future construction for a number of years. Simply put, we have been saving the funds over several years and are using those savings to pay for the project," said Jacobs.

With the funding now approved by the board of directors, groundbreaking is set for September and construction set to run throughout the school year. Both the renovation and the new building are scheduled to be complete by the beginning of the 2016 school year.

"Kingman was one of the first campuses put together for MCC," said Fred Gilbert, campus dean in Kingman. "It has the oldest buildings as a result, and it needs to be refreshed.

"This particular entity was designed to bring student services into one place. What we want to do is ease the registration process to make it more seamless and more user-friendly for students."

Student services on the Kingman campus are spread out all over the property. Financial aid, admissions, student payments and the dean of students are in separate buildings and, according to Gilbert, that makes it difficult to register for classes. The new building should help alleviate that issue.

The new building will also house the campus library, which will feature an open design and more book space than the old library.

"I'm very excited about the new library. It looks like a nice, open space. It'll be a really inviting, collaborative space," said Timothy Provenzano, the Kingman campus librarian.

Provenzano and his team had to vacate building 200 over the summer in preparation for renovations. The computer lab and books have been relocated to rooms 1201 and 1202.

"It was a very complex move. We had a short amount of time to do it, and a lot of factors to consider. We moved a lot of our books into storage," said Provenzano. Even with the move, the librarian is confident that his team will be able to provide all the services students need while they are in their temporary home.

Building 200's renovation will go on concurrently with the new student services building's construction. Renovations to the building include expanding the current meeting room, and taking down the wall that stands between the room and the former bookstore. Large glass windows will be installed, and the new room should seat 200 people.

The building will also hold the medical assistant and EMS programs in the former library.

During construction, the café will remain open for students looking to eat on campus. All the services that were housed in that building have moved to other locations on campus except for the bookstore, which has moved online via MCC's website.

According to Quinn Taylor, facilities manager for the Kingman campus, directories and new signs around campus will help direct students this year in finding out where everything moved to.

The temporary setup is worth it, with Taylor saying that the new building's landscaping and design will make campus "aesthetically more pleasing" and provide some community as well.

Gilbert stressed that the new facilities are open to the community, which will be invited to use the facility upon completion.

"We're hoping that we can establish a campus-like atmosphere," said Gilbert.