Front Range Community College Blog

New Classrooms & Facilities Benefit FRCC Students

It seems like most highways and byways in Colorado are a perpetual construction zone. At FRCC, we’re a bit more selective, trying to do as much work as possible without affecting students and learning. It’s a challenge, but here’s what’s new at FRCC come the opening of the fall semester on Aug. 24.

New Visual Arts Center at Westminster Campus

WC-Art-centerA vacant building has been turned into a visual arts center. This 9,894 square-foot building has been repurposed to house five classroom/labs – two for 2D art, and one each for ceramics, 3D art, and general classroom use. Here’s some highlights:

  • A section of hallway is designed for critiquing art, with a bench on one side and a wall for hanging pieces on the other side.
  • Students also will find a welcoming lobby in which to work on their projects. And there are lockers for students to store their supplies.
  • Two gas-fired kilns are located in an outdoor area, and there will be two electric kilns inside the building.
  • Most of the rooms are open to the underside of the roof, giving an open feel and exposing the original trusses.
  • The building’s original exterior and rotunda windows were retained, so the building has a fun look. And who says a fun look can’t be environmental? We’re expecting the building to be LEED Certified by the U.S. Green Building council.

WC-greenhouseNew Greenhouse at Westminster Campus

A state-of-the-art 2,905 square-foot greenhouse will give Horticulture and Landscape Construction students and Horticulture Business Management (a new degree designation) students the hands-on training in demand by the Colorado green industry.

The steel-framed greenhouse has two sections – a classroom and the greenhouse itself. Outside the greenhouse is an area to demonstrate and teach the installation of irrigation systems. The site also has new concrete bins for the storage of landscaping materials.

The greenhouse project was constructed with financial support from the Boettcher Foundation and the Colorado Garden Foundation.

New Classrooms at Westminster Campus

FRCC will open two new Gateway to College classrooms on the B level. This 1,600 sf space will accommodate 52 students, 16 computer stations, and two teachers.

New Academic Success Center at Westminster Campus

A new Academic Success Center will open in the second floor of College Hill Library this fall (the Writing and Reading Center opened for summer semester). The Math Center is a 1,271 square-foot space in Room B201 that has been renovated for this new purpose. This area will have 24 computer workstations, 10 four-person tables, and a faculty workstation.

Improved Accessibility at Westminster Campus

Also this summer, in areas throughout the site, FRCC has improved accessibility to the building from the community and from the parking areas. Many new ramps and curb cuts to accommodate rolling use were constructed. These improvements were funded by the State of Colorado’s Capital Maintenance funding for our American with Disabilities Act and Life Safety Upgrades. FRCC also replaced other site concrete that was deteriorated or that did not adequately drain water away from the building. The ADA and Life Safety Project will continue this fall making other improvements inside the buildings with a key focus on improving access in restrooms.

Although much work was completed with little inconvenience to students and visitors, more work will continue through the fall semester. For example, corridor upgrades are scheduled to be completed by March.

A Transformed Building at Larimer Campus

Redcloud Peak, the former home for Automotive Technology, Welding Technology, Natural Resources, and Veterinary Technology offices and storage, has been transformed into a creative arts and design center. It will house the Creative Arts, Design and Humanities Department – art, music, dance, photography, theater, architectural drafting, computer-aided drafting and design, and the humanities.

LC-Art-buildingCreative Arts and Design Center at Larimer Campus

Included in the design are: Ceramics/Metals Lab, Painting & Drawing Lab, Printmaking and Darkroom Labs/Digital Imaging, CAD/AEC labs, AEC/HLT studio, Interior Design studio and library, keyboarding and recording studio, and performing arts studio.

Just imagine how the interaction of those programs can spark creativity and learning, which can start as soon as students enter the building’s entry atrium and lounge.

Redcloud Peak has been designed to achieve LEED Certified status. The 29,000 square-foot building showcases many examples of natural light flooding into various spaces, whether it be from new windows or skylights. A new west outdoor plaza and a kiln yard to the east complete the amenities. Redcloud Peak also has a new brick-veneer exterior to match other campus buildings.

Where did the former residents of Redcloud Peak go? Well, Automotive and Welding joined Manufacturing and Energy Technology in the new Little Bear Peak, which opened in January.

Vet-Tech-1Natural Resources, Veterinary Technology in New Space at Larimer Campus

Forestry, Wildlife and Natural Resources and Veterinary Technology are moving to a newly renovated section of Blanca Peak. Here are some highlights:

  • Remodeled features on the south side of the northwest hallway include a new state-of-the-art Vet Tech surgery and surgery prep area, a clinical classroom, dog wash area and separate cat and dog kennel areas.
  • Acoustical wall construction and new mechanical systems have been well-vented to suit this facility for noise and smell reduction.
  • The north side of the hallway has a general classroom, classrooms for the programs, and a lab prep room.
  • A wet-lab classroom features new furniture and cabinets to support the academic program.
  • A Natural Resources classroom features new computer tables.

The next phase of construction and renovation for the campus is targeting Mount Antero, which houses services for students and administrative areas. Stay tuned for more.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Feeley

is director of public relations at Front Range Community College.