Through the renovation, the college was able to add seven new classrooms, a conference room, five specialty labs and studios for health and exercise science students, as well as several offices for faculty and staff. “The newly refurbished and expanded Activities Building will be a significant benefit to the campus community,” says Normandale President Joe Opatz. “Since we are the most crowded school in the MnSCU system, the new classroom and specialty lab spaces for our students will help us serve our growing enrollment more effectively.”
In addition to the new academic spaces, the Activities Building features amenities for students including a juice bar and lounge space, Wi-Fi throughout the building and completely refurbished locker rooms adjacent to an expanded exercise science fitness lab. Visitors will be able to access the building through a new two-story glass entry constructed on the north side of the building. An exposed aggregate walkway leads to the entry through a pergola constructed by artist Kinji Akagawa.
During construction, particular attention was paid to implementing the college’s long-range plan to create a more energy efficient campus. The construction did not require additional heating or cooling sources but rather connecting the building to other equipment already in place with adequate capacity. Similar consolidation and efficiency steps were implemented in providing power for the building.
According to Ed Wines, vice president for finance and operations at Normandale, the college essentially recycled a building that was principally designed for the discontinued varsity sports program and constructed additional space by infilling an exterior and interior second floor space. All the construction materials removed from the site were recycled.
Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota, provides general education programs preparing students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities as well as degree and certificate programs leading students directly to jobs and careers. The largest community college in Minnesota, Normandale serves a diverse student body of over 14,000, from across the metropolitan Twin Cities area. Normandale is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system of 32 colleges and universities.