Phase II B: Central Commons

Project begins summer 2017

The indoor Central Commons area on the main campus of Dakota County Technical College is getting remodeled. The project is Phase II B of the 2014 Transportation and Emerging Technologies $7.6 million Phase II capital bonding request. Phase II A focused on renovating program areas for Heavy Construction Equipment Technology and Heavy Duty Truck Technology as well as a collaborative relocation with ISD 917. In addition to the Central Commons remodel, Phase II B includes a new multipurpose science lab, redesigned mail room, and remodeled classroom space. Work begins this summer and Phase II B will be complete August 2017.

Transportation & Emerging Technologies

Phase I

Transportation & Emerging Technologies

Phase II

A look back at Phase I…

Thanks to a successful $7.2 million capital bonding request in 2012, Phase I of the Transportation and Emerging Technologies Renovation project at Dakota County Technical College was completed in 2013. The college’s Transportation and Industry Careers program areas had not received a remodel since initial construction in 1973, a gap of more than 40 years. The first phase of the two-phase project updated 55,200 square feet of the college’s main campus in Rosemount, Minnesota. The Welding Technology program area was modernized and relocated, the latter update providing direct outside access to a previously landlocked space.

Other program areas renovated in Phase I were GM ASEP, Automotive Technician and Auto Body Collision Technology. Improvements in these lab areas included new epoxy flooring and fresh paint along with upgrades to electrical and air quality systems. The ABCT program received new, industry-essential waterborne paint booths. A new parts department space was added to provide more convenient access for all Transportation programs. New multi-use classroom spaces were also added with windows open to the Central Commons.

Central Commons remodel…

Since 2006, DCTC has worked with TKDA, a St. Paul-based engineering, architecture and planning firm, on Phase I and Phase II of the Transportation and Emerging Technologies project. Brian Kelley, TKDA project manager, reported that Central Commons design solutions were addressed during the implementation of Phase I. One subtle design element in Phase I involved the strategic location and alignment of windows to view lab activities within the automotive programs while also allowing hints of natural daylight to reach the interior commons area when the southern bay overhead doors are open.

“Remodeling the Central Commons is the last, most visible piece of the puzzle,” Kelley said. “The design introduces new finishes and furnishings that complement the character of the 2006 Library Atrium renovation while concentrating on the unique function of the Central Commons. At the end of the day, our goal is creating a modern, engaging student community space both current and prospective students will remember.”

Central Commons renderings

Paul DeMuth, facilities director at DCTC and Inver Hills Community College, noted that the open, two-story Central Commons area is a crucial, multipurpose campus space used for dining, studying and socializing as well as larger college-wide and community events and functions. The remodel corrects a number of issues that detract from the area’s overall amenity and utility.

“The finishes lack continuity as a result of small remodeling projects over the years,” DeMuth said. “The space is outdated and uninviting. Older furnishings and poor lighting, along with hard aggregate and tile floor surfaces, create a dark, cavernous feel and sound. Design solutions include new flooring, new seating, new lighting and more.”

For details about the Central Commons remodel, follow the link below:

Design Solutions

Project TeamMike Opp, DCTC vice president of academic and student affairs, pointed out that Phase II B planning began more than a decade ago.

“A tremendous amount of time was put into establishing the design elements and configurations of the entire project before physical work on Phase I actually started,” Opp said. “A DCTC team that included faculty and staff worked with a team of architects and designers from TKDA, a representative from the Minnesota State system office, and a project management consultant/cost estimator to devise and carry out a genuinely collaborative project.”

Opp added that all phases of the project tie into the college’s five-year Facilities Master Plan. He reported that recent input from the campus community resulted in changes to color accents in the furniture components as well as the inclusion of a shared idea for a drinking fountain model, but major changes are not feasible at this stage in the project. The public artwork aspect of the project will be installed near the Heavy Duty Truck Technology program area.

To learn more about Phase II B, contact:

Mike Opp
Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs