We oftentimes get phone calls as institutions outgrow their existing facilities. Our response is always the same; sometimes organizations need new space—but not all growth requires a new facility.
For instance, as Ivy Tech Community College’s enrollment in Batesville, Indiana grew, their current leased space no longer had the capacity to accommodate the student population. Looking for new space, the College saw opportunity in an open office building. They were able to see past the cubicles to a vision of a new educational facility.
Removing the office finishes, cubicles, and décor, the empty structure of the building offered a cost-effective canvas to create a new image. Since the building infrastructure was in good condition, the renovation created new educational spaces inside the existing shell at a much lower cost than building a new facility.
What made this project successful was not the creation of the new space—but rather the creation of the image of higher education. A new exterior entrance and lobby adorned with wood columns and accents developed the representation of higher education and modern learning. This improved the image of the College in Batesville from a leased storefront to their own facility.
It is an important lesson to remember—not all growth requires a new facility. Creative use of existing buildings can provide opportunities to create new space within an existing structure, typically the most expensive building component. By having the vision to see beyond the cubicles, Ivy Tech Community College was able to create a new, adequately sized, and modern facility for higher education.