Envisioning the future: SFCC completes campus master plan

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“The future’s so bright I gotta wear shades.”

This one-hit wonder by TIMBUK3 in 1986 could well be the refrain for State Fair Community College in 2015. SFCC recently completed a comprehensive master facilities plan for its Sedalia campus and is looking toward a bright future of innovation and change.

In October 2014 the SFCC Board of Trustees hired The Clark Enersen Partners (CEP) of Kansas City to conduct inventories, assessments and a needs analysis to prepare a comprehensive master plan. CEP also used the services of Franklin Markley of Paulien & Associates of Denver, Colorado, to analyze enrollment, courses, staffing, and facilities to evaluate classroom use and student occupancy rates in light of new practices in classrooms and labs.

“The last facilities master plan was completed in 2002 with the construction of the Fred E. Davis Multipurpose Center,” says Dr. Joanna Anderson, SFCC president. “It was time to look to the future and envision what the Sedalia campus could look like over the next 15 years. We also know students today learn differently and have different expectations than they did 10 years ago.”

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Architect’s rendering of the new student success center.

CEP met regularly with the master plan steering committee and held numerous forums with students, employees and community members.

“Ideas from our stakeholders were vital as we worked on the plan,” says Anderson. “Our goal is to create an even better teaching and learning environment for our students, faculty and the community.”

The completed four-phase plan includes facility assessments, space inventory and needs analysis, traffic flow and parking recommendations, landscape and architecture branding opportunities, and recommendations for new buildings and renovations.

“It’s an exciting time for State Fair Community College,” says Anderson. “The new campus master plan charts our course for the next 15 years and supports our 2020 Vision strategic plan to grow and improve SFCC. These updates will ensure the college continues to provide relevant and innovative learning experiences for students.”

Plan priorities

Based on research, feedback and a priority exercise, the number one facility need identified was a new technology center. The new building would comprise six technical programs—automotive technology, metals technology (welding and machine tool), construction, industrial electrical maintenance, renewable energy, and computer aided drafting—as well as the State Fair Career and Technology Center and potential new programs.

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Architect’s rendering of the new technology center.

These programs are now housed in two separate buildings, the automotive building and the Fielding Technical Center.

“The automotive building was built in 1974, and its original capacity was 10 students,” says Anderson. “Since 2007, the program has expanded to include evening classes, which exceeds the capacity of the building. Without more space, we are unable to add classes or new programs. Lack of storage also is a significant issue.”

The Fielding Technical Center was built in 1978 and no longer meets the needs of today’s technical programs, says Anderson.

“We have forward-looking programs and state-of-the-art equipment in a 35-year-old building,” she says. “We believe it’s important to showcase and grow these programs in a “makerspace” environment—an informal combination of labs, shops and conference rooms where students can gather to network, share resources and knowledge and collaborate on projects through hands-on exploration.”

Bringing all technical programs under one roof also will create a synergy among multidisciplinary collaborative efforts.

“Our students and instructors have found that collaboration is an integral part of the learning experience,” says Anderson. “Having all our technical programs in one location will allow students in different programs to learn from each other and learn how their programs work together.”

Other major recommendations include two new 120-bed residence halls; an addition to the Yeater Learning Center to house a student success center, including dining facilities, the Campus Store, student activities and recreation, and academic and student support services; an addition to the Stauffacher Center for the Fine Arts to house a new center to serve prospective students; and renovations to several other buildings.

Next steps

As SFCC approaches its 50th anniversary in 2018-2019, the new campus master plan gives the college an opportunity to envision the future, says Anderson.

“As with any plan, it is a work in progress and may change as conditions and needs change,” she says. “We’re excited about the recommendations, particularly the technology center and student success center. They represent what SFCC provides today and will continue to provide in the future—high-tech academic programs and high-touch academic support services.”

Plan priorities and phases

Phase 1—1 to 3 years

  • New technology center
  • Demolish Lamm House
  • Demolish Automotive Technology building

Phase 2—4 to 6 years

  • Renovate Fielding Technical Center/move Melita Day Child Development Center to Fielding Center
  • Add student success center to Yeater Learning Center
  • Add student services center to Stauffacher Center
  • New residence hall #1
  • Upgrades to Heckart Science and Allied Health Center
  • Renovate Hopkins Student Services Center
  • Demolish Melita Day Child Development Center

Phase 3—7 to 9 years

  • Renovate Yeater Learning Center
  • New maintenance/storage building

Phase 4—10+ years

  • Renovate Potter-Ewing Agriculture building
  • New residence hall #2
  • Addition to Davis Multipurpose Center
  • Demolish current residence hall
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