A $10 million donation will help Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kan., carry out the largest campus transformation project in its history.
The gift from the Sunderland Foundation will support the college's new Career and Technical Education Center and is one part of $102.6 million in campus improvement plans approved by the JCCC board of trustees.
“Our facilities must be innovative, flexible and functional,” says Joe Sopcich, JCCC president. “This plan provides a blueprint for the future, for making wise decisions about building and renovation projects with one goal in mind: ensuring that we keep our students' needs front and center as we invest for the future.”
The new career and technical education, at just under 70,000 square feet, will house many of the industrial technology programs now situated in the Arts and Technology Building—automotive technology, electrical technology, automation engineer technology/industrial maintenance and heating, ventilation and air conditioning training. The new building also will include space for continuing education for industrial programs to respond to workforce needs.
What is to be known as the Fine Arts and Design Studios will be on the campus' east side. It is projected to be about 37,000 square feet and will contain those fine arts programs currently housed in the Arts and Technology Building, along with filmmaking and graphic design.
“We’re altering our campus landscape to cultivate innovative learning and engagement opportunities for students, while integrating the interactive needs of our award-winning faculty and staff,” says Board Chair Greg Musil. “From a fiscal standpoint, it’s been a goal of the board to complete our campus transformation initiative without raising the mill levy on taxpayers and without increasing tuition for our students.”
Other highlights of the facilities upgrade initiative:
- Renovation and expansion of the Arts and Technology Building and Welding Laboratory Building to further strengthen industrial technology offerings such as construction management and welding;
- Creation of an enhanced “campus front door,” which includes a re-facing of the Student Center, upgrades to the athletics facilities, and re-grading of surrounding roads and parking;
- Consolidation and relocation of five academic resource centers to the first floor of the Billington Library for better student access;
- Renovations of space throughout campus into active learning classrooms.
The Sunderland Foundation was established in 1945 by Lester T. Sunderland, who was president of the Ash Grove Cement Company for 33 years. Ash Grove Cement Company and the Sunderland family have supported JCCC with student scholarships for more than two decades.
The college anticipates all buildings and renovation projects to be completed by 2020.
The architect for the two new buildings and renovations to the ATB and WLB buildings is BNIM. The architect for the new “campus front door,” consolidation of the resource centers, and improvements to athletic facilities is Peckham Guyton Albers & Viets. The builder is JE Dunn Construction.