The resulting Student Center is a freestanding, 67,000-square-foot, two-story structure that pays homage to the building’s important physical location. As the heart of the school, the signature building features an iconic clock tower that anchors the center and serves as a beacon to the surrounding community. It is intended to be the heart of the school. The campus’ history as a military boarding high school and junior college called for special design and placement considerations to honor that unique past. The building also sits on the edge of a historic parade ground. Designers sited the building to frame the edge of the grounds—maintaining a clear view from campus into this distinctive area.
The building’s two levels include food preparation and dining spaces for breakfast and lunch service, a two-story campus store, technology support spaces, and a recreation center with pool and pingpong tables. It also includes a multimedia conference hall with a full-size stage—the perfect location for large meetings, ceremonies and celebrations— with space for 1,000 seats. The hall also is a flexible space that can be sectioned off into smaller rooms with foldable walls, allowing for more uses. The center caters to students by providing space for student government offices, student mailboxes, and open and quiet study areas.
With its careful attention promoting campus legacy, addressing the needs of 21st-century college students and staff, and creating an inviting presence within the community, the WVSOM Student Center encapsulates higher education design excellence.