SPRINGFIELD TECHNICAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE, IRA H. RUBENZAHL STUDENT LEARNING COMMONS
As the only technical community college in Massachusetts and with an annual enrollment of over 7,000 students, Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) offers unparalleled education and career programs. STCC was founded in 1967 and is located on 35 acres within the Springfield Armory National Historic Site. Because the campus is part of a National Historic Landmark and the National Park System, work on STCC’s historic buildings and campus is subject to review by state and federal agencies, as well as the National Park Service. Constructed in four phases from 1846 through 1863, Building 19 originally served as a storehouse for the Springfield National Armory and has been unoccupied for 150 years. ABA’s design for a new Student Learning Commons in the building integrates modern building systems and structural upgrades while maintaining the historic character of the existing building. Programs are consolidated into four major “hubs” for student and academic services. The Student Enrollment and Academic Advising Centers simplify enrollment processes and consolidate access to student services that were previously housed in multiple buildings on campus. The Learning Commons combines the college’s library with instructional spaces, tutoring, and information technology services. The Student Life Center animates Building 19 with student life and daily activities, providing a café, bookstore, and meeting areas for students to study and socialize at the new heart of their campus.
The Student Learning Commons project received numerous planning, design, and preservation awards, including a SCUP Excellence in Planning Honor Award, a SCUP Excellence in Architecture Honorable Mention, a Robert H. Kuehn, Jr. Award from Preservation Massachusetts, and a Building Design + Construction Reconstruction Award.
Location: Springfield, Massachusetts
Project Size: 100,100 sf
Sustainability: The Learning Commons is certified LEED Silver. The design netted a 30% water-use reduction with low-flow fixtures throughout the building and drought-tolerant plants; no potable water is used to irrigate the landscaping. All roof rainwater run-off is channeled via granite runnels into rain gardens along the building’s perimeter. The rainwater is collected and filtered naturally by plantings, percolates into the soil, and recharges the groundwater. More than 90% of construction and demolition debris was reused, recycled, or salvaged, and more than 99% of the new wood-based materials installed are FSC certified. LED lighting combined with an improved exterior envelope, optimized daylighting, and high-efficiency building systems resulted in an energy-use reduction of 28%.
Project Team: Philip Chen AIA, Robert Carroll AIA, Jackie Mossman AIA, Ric Panciera AIA, Rita Terjeki AIA, George Faber, Ian Ford (ABA); Altieri (MEP); RSE (Structural); Nitsch Engineering (Civil); The Green Engineer (Sustainability); Jensen Hughes (Code); Sladen Feinstein Integrated Lighting (Lighting); IBI (Landscape); Public Archaeology Laboratory (Archaeology); Jaffe Holden (Acoustics); Structures North (Wood Framing); Preservation Technology Associates (Masonry); BVH (AV); Photography Chuck Choi