Properties Magazine January 2013 : Page 49

Modern Makeover By Doug Bardwell | Photos by Scott Pease Lorain County Community College converts outdated library into innovative iLOFT building E ducational institutions don’t get to remodel or renovate all that often, so when the opportu-nity arose, Lorain County Community College (LCCC) brought together an award-winning team to maximize their investment. A new library building had been completed in 2008 and the original library building was available. With the college’s evolution and 120% enrollment growth over the past 10 years, the administration saw an opportunity to create a cutting-edge classroom building for the future. Called iLOFT, which stands for Innovative Learning Opportunities for Tomorrow, the building is occupied pri-marily by the college’s Social Sciences program, providing a collaborative and interactive learning environment that is as flexible as it is state-of-the-art. Designed by the firms of Sasaki Associates from Boston and Clark & Post Architects Inc. from Lorain, the facility is designed to provide learning opportunities not just in classrooms, but throughout the building. Ronald Cocco, president of Clark & Post, recalls, “the provost wanted us to create a new learning paradigm, creating educational areas in multiple settings. “This opened the entirety of the building to be a learning space – not just the conventional classrooms, but also the lounge, the common areas, even the corridors,” he says. The result is a facility that is truly for-ward thinking, according to Katia Lucic, principal at Sasaki Associates. “[This building] puts LCCC probably ahead of every other learning institution I know of at this point,” she says, in its holistic approach to academic training. Expanding educational opportunities Schematic design began in September 2009. Lucic notes that, early on, the project team “looked at how the learn-ing process occurred on campus and how other institutions were using their spaces.” The goal was two-fold: to 49

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