It was a bright, sunny morning of Friday the 7th at Madera Community College where Darden Architects attended the ground breaking event for the new Academic Village II building. During this new era of COVID-19, attendees sat in sections spread out from each other to maintain social distancing, but that did not dwindle the ever growing excitement in the atmosphere for everyone.
Local leaders each came up to speak, including Darden’s own Bob Petithomme, on the beginning of a great partnership with the college, builders, the local community and other leaders. This new building is thought to help continue the success of the college’s growing number of students wanting to seek a higher education and also to inspire others in the local area to seek out education at Madera Community College.
The Academic Village II is also conceptualized to provide an extended number of classrooms, lecture halls and facilities for medical students studying nursing as well as adding more facilities for staff members and an added library. On top of the added facilities for the campus, more students will start to wander over to that side of the campus, creating a more interactive environment.
The two-story double-loaded Academic Village Two will be 41,600 square feet in total. The Floor plan of the building is split into two sides. The south wing will support the Curriculum and the north, Campus Culture.
Curriculum support spaces will include:
- Instruction Spaces – The south wing of the first floor will include Large group instruction spaces and lecture classrooms. To support a focus on healthcare education one side of the wing will consist of a nearly 3,000 square foot nursing lab with simulation space, isolation room and staff offices.
- Criminology and Distance learning – The Criminology program is in high demand and second floor spaces will be provided to meet that need. For those students enrolled at Madera Community College but taking classes at other facilities within the district, distance learning classrooms are to be made available.
- Staff Offices – The second floor south will house over 20 staff offices. By providing a central location for instructors, Darden’s goal is to foster collaborative interaction, mentorship, and ease of student access.
Campus Culture spaces will include:
- Library – Naturally lit, this technology rich space will provide students a place to collaborate and congregate socially. For more focused work, the space will offer 7 private quiet study rooms and a dedicated computer lab space. This north wing of the first floor is intended to be accessible and welcoming to students. A direct response to the primary goal of the project.
- Activated Circulation – The second-floor circulation have been widened on the second floor to great “spaces between spaces” where students can chat & eat, meet with professors out of office, or lounge between classes. These mixed seating options will enjoy calming views of the campus and farmland beyond.
- Outdoor Courtyards – Darden has intentionally spun the large rectangular roof to cover both the East and West sides of the building, creating two outdoor courtyards. These outdoor spaces provide shaded respite from the valley heat for student socialization, group gatherings, and outdoor study.
Design for the building is modern in style with two volumes placed diagonally from one another and seemingly connected by a towering roof piece. The goal is a light and inviting design that utilizes transparency for connection with the campus, and a bold college color palette to punctuate this project as the new core to the campus. The Academic Village Two Building will bring the student body together in new ways, encourage interaction with professors outside of class time, and provide an enriched student experience that will develop pride in Madera Community College.
Special thanks to the State Center Community College District and Madera Community College for the opportunity to work on this exciting project.
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We'll See You There
We are looking forward to attending the Coalition For Adequate School Housing 42nd Annual Conference on School Facilities at the Palm Springs Convention Center.