CVCC opens new student center

Out with the old and in with the new.

Catawba Valley Community College christened its new student center Tuesday with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony, as students, faculty and members of the community watched.

The planning for this center started in early 2008, with a conversation between CVCC president Dr. Garrett Hinshaw and Jim Powell, of ADW Architects in Charlotte.

"We talked about the needs here on campus," Hinshaw said. "With Jim's expertise, we looked at options and opportunities. We started talking about programming and the specific things we were struggling with as far as space. ADW took that information and came back to us with something that blew us away."

The building where the new student center stands is completely recycled from a former furniture and textile facility built in the late 1960s. The recycled design was an innovation produced by ADW Architects and has become a new innovation in architecture.

"This building had a wonderful history," Powell said. "Most of the time, buildings are torn down and new buildings are built. That was not done here. A building with a wonderful heritage was recycled and given a new life. That is the most beautiful story about this."

The center is 22,000 square-feet and cost $3.1 million. Construction on the facility started in spring 2009 and finished in January.

Students have a variety of options, which includes the Trove Campus Store, Galley Food Service, Career Services center and Student Engagement office. The entire center is also Wi-Fi equipped.

Larger events can also be held in a seating area with performance stage and a 30-person conference room.

Hinshaw thinks the student center is a crucial part of helping establish larger college atmosphere at CVCC.

"Every student will, at some point step, foot into this building," Hinshaw said. "I've had students out in the community who said they felt like they were at college now. That was a big statement for us."