Moraine’s plans for Student Success Center moving along

  • Written by Kelly White

With the completion of Moraine Valley’s Health, Fitness and Recreation Center in the spring, the college is already planning its next major renovation. 

The G Building Renovation/Addition Project is anticipated to begin after the end of this school year’s classes in June. This one-year project is geared for completion in 2016, prior to the August semester starting date. With the new door opening -- literally -- the building will also be taking on a new name as the Student Success Center.
Dominick Demonica of Demonica and Kemper Architects provided an overview and program summary of the spaces in the G Building to be renovated for the Student Success Center at last Wednesday’s school board meeting.
“Not only will we be renovating the inside of the G building, the entire outside will have a new skin on it,” Demonica said, “It will be designed with a combination of brick and glass, similar to the Health, Fitness and Recreation Center, allowing for plenty of natural light into the building.”
The new G building will also have three entrance doors, providing for easy access to the building from all walks of campus.
“We want the building to be easily accessible and provide a constant flow of students using the building’s many sections,” he said.
Plans call to ravamp its current gymnasium on the main level by adding on pre-function lounge space.
“Right now when you walk into the gymnasium in the G building, you walk right into the gym,” Demonica said, “We plan to better utilize the space by providing a pre-function lounge space that will allow for students to gather, socialize and prepare for using the gymnasium.”
The main level will also include a new student orientation room with seating possible for 280 students, along with a computer lab and a coffee bar.
The second level will contain a tutoring center that Domonica said will be flexible and diverse for students to use at their leisure.
“Our tutoring space is very small right now,” Dr. Sylvia Jenkins, Moraine president, said.
The second level will also hold a large testing center. The testing center will be relocated from the B building into the Student Success Center to allow for a larger student capacity. The testing center will overlook buildings S and U, providing for what officials hope is a peaceful outlook through class windows of the campus’s greenery. Demonica also plans for the second level to have two separate study rooms, one for honors students and one for veterans.
“I really like the fact that the honors space is right by the tutoring center on the second level,” Jenkins added.
However, with studying and testing being completed on the building’s second level, would it be possible for those students to be disrupted by the gymnasium on the lower level?
“There will be a double wall constructed to prevent any noise between the two separate levels of the building,” Demonica said.
He assured the board noise presently cannot even be heard in the existing G building between the current lower-level gymnasium and upper level classrooms.
“If anything, we will only be making the existing sound barriers even better,” he said.
This project was included in the college’s Facilities Master Plan. Demoinca has been working alongside Andy Duren, Executive Vice President of Administrative Services, on the proposed project plans. Together they will be going out to bid on the proposed project construction costs in greater detail and present the final numbers for approval by the April board meeting.
•The college came up with an alternate for the purchase of textbooks. Students can swap books among each other directly through the campus’s bookstore website.
“The expense of college textbooks is a constant complaint among students,” Eamon Almiladi, student trustee, said at the board meeting. “We believe we have found a solution for the overwhelming semester cost of textbooks.”
The textbook swap works in collaboration with the Moraine Valley bookstore website. Students have the option to search for a particular book they need for class, contact a seller on a page and list his or her own textbooks for future swapping. The transactions are made with no cost from student to student, however, bookstore employees oversee the website and guarantee all transactions and books listed are of proper class material.
“This is a much more affordable way for the school to provide textbooks to the students,” Almiladi said.