Washtenaw Community College Occupational Education Building
DescriptionUnique design elements in the once drab hallways and study areas bring new vibrancy to the place. These changes are both practical and whimsical. Practicality begins at the building’s main entrance in the updated lobby/study area. This new casual space with comfortable seating in gray and rich mahogany is perfect for small group discussions before or after class. The tables and chairs adjacent to it are great for spreading papers out for review, scrolling through social media, or enjoying a quick snack between classes. A touch of whimsy is found in the two hallways that connect to the lobby. Colorful graphic elements now showcase the programs taught there. The unexpected is found between the welding and automotive classrooms where a new mezzanine-level study has been built for students who take classes in that portion of the building. Most of the changes in the 29-year-old vocational/technical facility are underground, above ceiling, in the classroom, or on the roof including 140 geothermal wells, updated HVAC and electrical systems, a new roof combining a reflective, energy-efficient material and a live vegetative system, and rooftop solar panels.