To: Campus Community
From: Timothy J. Nelson, President
Date: January 5, 2017
Subject: 21st Century Learning Space

Good morning and welcome to the New Year! I’m excited to share with you the progress and preliminary process by which we together will design and build 21st century learning spaces in the renovation and remodeling of West Hall. I invite all of you to share in this once in a lifetime opportunity for NMC, our learners and community.

Over the past seven years, NMC has requested State of Michigan funding for the development of what we called the West Hall Innovation Center. Over that same period, our Board of Trustees has recognized the increasing role of libraries and central community learning spaces in learner and community success. As the old saying goes, “timing is everything.” We had intended to construct a new library connected to the core of West Hall and hoped a few years after that, we could construct the Innovation Center as the premiere 21st Century Learning Space.

You all know, we were successful last year in receiving permission to begin planning and designing this facility as ONE BUILDING. We envision an approximately 58,000 sq. ft. facility that is/has:

  • Innovative learning environments
  • Transformative learning environments
  • Libraries
  • Multiple academic and simulation spaces

Diagrams and descriptions of these types of spaces can be found by going here. I encourage you to open it.

We know these spaces will include some of these characteristics.

  • Flexible, adaptable and reconfigurable
  • Food
  • Library
  • Individual and community spaces
  • Quiet and noisy spaces
  • Serves the needs of NMC and multiple area constituent groups
  • Adds to the “Community Core” of NMC consistent with our new residential living plans
  • Has the potential to be used 24/7

At December’s Board of Trustees meeting, NMC contracted with STANTEC, an architecture and design firm, to guide us through a process to continue our journey to secure State funds. There will be multiple opportunities for guided input during this process. The first opportunity will be at Opening Conference on Monday, January 9 where STANTEC will make a presentation to the campus community.

The table below represents our initial thoughts on teams that will contribute to this design process. Our goal is to present design documents to the Department of Technology, Management and Budget and then to the State Legislature in the spring and secure funding that would allow us to begin construction in late 2017 or early 2018.

Members of the teams and user groups in the diagram below will be invited to join in coming days and weeks. We will provide both written materials and potential opportunities to visit other institutions. Please note the Steering Team – Innovators will include some of the most innovative educators (faculty and staff) at NMC as identified by peers and supervisors.