LANSING, Mich. — To hear Lansing Community College President Brent Knight tell it, the $18 million student commons and services facility the college is close to completing is bringing a "wow" factor to campus.
In addition to the pleasant surprise he said students are finding, Knight said demand for the student seating area is already exceeding expectations. The window seats looking onto Grand Avenue fill up first.
"It's a great asset for the community as well as the college. This is an inviting space for our students, a compelling space," Knight said Monday. "This space would be a great space for any university or college in America."
The project marks the main part of the transformation of LCC's Gannon Building that is expected to be completed next month, though the refurbished portions of the building are open. The student commons area fills the space that once was used for a swimming pool and spectator seating.
The hallmark of the commons area is large glass panels looking onto Grand Avenue, Adado Riverfront Park and the Grand River, Knight said. The glass panels replaced a brick wall in the former swimming facility. The space is expected to be used for guest speakers, live music and academic presentations.
Jared Dornbos, a first-year business student, found his sweet spot next to the window panels. Dornbos stopped for lunch and a study session but said the area is a natural to meet other students.
"I think it's comfy. I like the light," Dornbos, a Charlotte resident, said. "It's really open, nice, modern."
Melissa Ewing works at the Cooley Law School Library, but on Monday chose the commons area to study. Ewing said the noisy lunch area was actually more conducive to her studies.
"Sometimes you need some noise, too," Ewing said.
The first event in the commons area