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Haley Academic Center, Mount Wachusett Community College
As part of a major expansion and renovation to the Gardner campus of MWCC, the College sought to renew its public identity through the transformation of its visitor entry courtyard. The pre-existing 1970’s era brutalist courtyard with its expansive hardscape, minimal planting, and lack of ADA accessibility was both unwelcoming to visitors and out-of-sync with the College’s vision for more student-centered and collaborative academic spaces. The project included complete removal of the courtyard paving, stairs and walls. In order to achieve direct universal access from the drop-off to the main entry and to avoid ramps, the existing drop-off was raised over a foot and gradually feathered to meet existing grade. In keeping with the College’s sustainability values, the courtyard was designed with a mosaic of native trees, shrubs, and grasses recalling the area’s indigenous landscape. The thoughtful incorporation of low-level bollard lighting, seating, and native boulders throughout further enhance the entry experience drawing people in to engage with nature and provide outdoor opportunities for learning and social engagement.
Division of Capital Asset Management & Maintenance (DCAMM)
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