Seminole State College of Florida construction, engineering, and interior design students took a detour from the classroom environment to tour the active construction site of the new Student Services Center at the College's Sanford/Lake Mary Campus.
Wearing hard hats and safety vests, students were invited to step right onto the dusty ground, the same ground where an energy-efficient, two-story, 77,000-square-foot building will stand.
The tour was led by Senior Project Manager Steve Williams and Senior Superintendent Milt Taylor from CPPI (Charles Perry Partners, Inc.), along with Seminole State Facilities Project Manager and Seminole State alumnus Ethan Burrowes.
“One of the most satisfying experiences as a professor has been immersing my students in real-life experiences tied to their studies,” says Ira Locks, professor of architecture and construction management. “The new Student Services Center tour served as a rich learning environment that cannot take place in the classroom. Construction students seeing the different types of foundations and concrete block wall reinforcements is an important learning opportunity they will not forget.”
Enthusiastic students asked a barrage of questions relating to every construction aspect from safety and efficiency, to architectural bids, plans, budgets and schedules.
“I think everyone in the class enjoyed the field trip to the Student Services Center,” says construction student Todd Radcliff. “It was a good chance for us to see early stages in the building process and gave us a chance to ask questions to industry professionals currently working on the project.”
The architectural layout will support Seminole State's vision of being a student-centered college by serving as a one-stop facility for student services and student life.
The building is designed to be approximately 40 percent more energy efficient than a standard comparable building. This takes into account its size, glazing, building constructs, occupancy and usage.
The LED lighting will provide a large part of the energy savings, about 35 percent more energy efficient then standard performing lights. The plumbing also contributes to the efficiency by featuring low-flow plumbing fixtures, high-efficiency water heaters and electronically commutated motors (ECM) on all recirculation pumps.
The center will offer Wi-Fi and smart technology throughout and include lounge spaces, a cyber-perch, a game room, meeting and dining areas, a food court, Barnes & Noble bookstore and a coffee shop.
The Student Services areas will include Financial Aid and Scholarships, the Career Development Center, Academic Advising and Counseling, Disability Support Services and Student Accounting and Cashiering Services.
The ground-floor design also includes an exterior sun terrace facing the pond.
On the second floor, students will find intake services, such as Admissions and Recruitment, Enrollment Services and Registrar, and Assessment and Testing, as well as a Student Life suite, which includes the Office of Student Life, First Generation Freshmen and the Intramural and Recreational Sports offices.
“The best part of the tour is just imagining how everything is going to come together,” says interior design student Margarita Tavera. “Seeing the actual walls go up in real life."
The center is projected to open in January 2018.
Seminole State College of Florida's School of Engineering, Design and Construction offers more than 50 degrees and certificates, including bachelor's degrees in construction, engineering technology, information systems technology and interior design. The programs prepare students for a wide variety of careers in the built environment and information technology.