Success Story: Renovation to Innovation is underway

August 29 2018

Renovation to Innovation logo

The Timothy J. Nelson Innovation Center, among NMC’s most transformative capital projects, will take a major stride forward this semester when the old building is demolished.

Following a multi-year planning process begun after state matching funds were initially approved in June 2016, the $14.4-million project entered its active construction phase this summer with utility and other site preparation work. When completed, the new building will serve as a campus centerpiece not only physically but in terms of instruction, the student experience and environment.

  • Instruction - The building's design of flexible classrooms and workspaces enhances experiential learning, which flips higher education’s traditional “learn to do” style of instruction into “do to learn.” EL emphasizes interdisciplinary, project- and team-based learning and skill development as well as community and business partnerships.
  • Student experience - The library will move to the new building, and will be open 24–7 to facilitate learning on demand. It will also be home to food services, making it a true hub for all student needs.
  • Environment - The building's innovative function is reflected in the choice of renewable geothermal energy as its power source. Costing an additional $400,000 initially, the system has an expected payback period of 14.5 years and continued savings to the college for at least 30 years.

Innovation Center renderingProject rendering by J. Scott Smith Visual Designs, inc.During construction, all NMC departments and services have been relocated. Among the most-visited, Dining Services has moved to the Oleson Center and the NMC Bookstore to the Health & Science Building.

A formal groundbreaking event is set for late September, when NMC will also rededicate the Osterlin Fine Arts Building, renovated during 2017–18.

On its Aero Park Campus, NMC also received news that the Aero Park Labs building has been formally LEED-certified, meaning it meets standards for leadership in energy and environmental design.

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