A Makeover at Tri-C Metropolitan Campus

A new look is in the works for the Campus Center building at Tri-C's Metropolitan Campus.

Changes are coming to one of the oldest buildings at the Metropolitan Campus of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C).

A two-year project beginning this fall promises to reshape the outdated Campus Center building into a dynamic hub of student activity. The renovation launched with a Sept. 27 groundbreaking ceremony attended by community and College leaders.

“This will do much more than modernize Metro Campus,” said Michael Schoop, president of the campus since 2006. “It will transform our ideas about how we use the campus to teach, to learn and to interact with each other.

“We’re creating a new atmosphere that will inspire, engage and spark creativity.”

The Campus Center project, when complete, will leave a building unrecognizable from the hulking structure currently standing along East 30th Street between Woodland and Community College avenues.

Workers will peel off the building’s outer skin and demolish the interior, leaving only the skeletal remains of the original frame. Deconstruction of the structure should begin before the end of the year.

Then comes the rebuild. Renderings show a finished product with a glass exterior gently curving toward campus. Windows dominate the façade on the building’s front, side and back to reveal sweeping views and bathe the interior in natural light.

The new design maximizes the building’s existing on-site footprint, adding 11,000 square feet of usable space. The roomier accommodations expand student social areas as well as classroom and meeting space.

Plans call for the updated Campus Center to reopen in time for fall semester in 2018.

“Campus Center should serve as the hub of activity and heartbeat of Metro,” said Cynthia Leitson, the College’s vice president of capital and construction. “With this renovation, it will.”

The building’s three floors will offer amenities such as:

  • A Barnes & Noble bookstore featuring a coffee shop
  • A food court and dining area that includes seating in an outdoor courtyard
  • Offices for student government and Tri-C’s award-winning student newspaper
  • Classroom space for High Tech Academy and other college prep programs
  • A conference hall for reception and public meetings

In addition, architects included unique touches such as “seating cubbies” — essentially study nooks built into the walls — and bench seating along the main staircase to encourage students to spend time at Campus Center.

“No matter where you are in the building,” Leitson said, “there will be an exciting vibe.”

The Campus Center renovation will cost an estimated $38 million. The College received $2.5 million in state funding to put toward the work.

The project will coincide with a reconstruction of the Metro Campus walkways that carry visitors across the grounds. Work to the plaza areas over the next four years will convert a concrete canvas into an urban oasis lush with greenery.

Together, the projects will transform a setting virtually unchanged since Tri-C constructed Metro Campus in the 1960s after opening as Ohio’s first community college.

The two projects also build on the ongoing revitalization of Cleveland’s Campus District. Located just east of downtown, the district has seen significant investment the past few years to create a more vibrant community.

John Horton

Media Relations Manager at Cuyahoga Community College

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 7:55 PM, 10.03.2016