Three architectural firms presented competing plans for the long-term reshaping of the campus at the Westerbeck recital hall on Thursday.
The Centennial Facilities Master Plan Community Forum hosted the presentations of firms of AC Martin, Gensler, and HGA, whose respective ideas for extensive renovations had some common threads as well as distinct differences.
All three touched on preserving the historic front of the campus by retaining the C building and the mirror pools, better utilization of the corner of Colorado Boulevard and Hill Avenue, and the possibility of expanding to the north side of Colorado through partnerships with businesses or by purchasing land outright.
While declining to indicate a favorite, school officials in attendance responded favorably to all three presentations.
“I thought they were very good presentations,” said Trustee Ross Selvidge. “I was taking note of the way they incorporated specific things we had asked them to, and also noted that a couple showed that they incorporated projections of growth, which was very helpful.”
“I thought all the plans had very interesting visions,” added Dr. Ryan Cornner, associate vice president for strategic planning and innovation.
AC Martin’s Susan Painter and Chuck Seeger emphasized that the campus must make better usage of open space, characterizing the current configuration as uninviting and underutilized.
They envisioned a new allied health center at the corner of Colorado and Hill, bringing such programs as nursing back to the main campus.
They also cited their previous experience designing the school’s new Center for the Arts as a reason to consider them for the larger task of remaking the campus.
“We believe that this plan is innovative because it creates a true college town ambience and a connection with the community,” said Painter.
Gensler’s presentation focused more on the type of school they saw PCC becoming, speaking extensively on leveraging new technologies and becoming more energy efficient.
They laid out a plan that called for the school’s energy usage to drop by about 66 percent over the next 10 years.
Instead of a health building, Gensler proposed a welcome center at Colorado and Hill that would house student services.
“This could form the gateway for anyone arriving on campus looking for information,” said lead planner Deborah Shepley.
HGA concluded the evening with similar themes of new technology and open spaces, adding that a rec center on the west edge of campus would connect the school more fully to the surrounding community.
They also proposed a science center on the south side of campus that would ideally work closely with Cal Tech.
“PCC was founded 90 years ago on the spirit of innovation to meet the changing demands of a growing community, and you really have an opportunity to expand on this legacy today,” said project manager James Matson, “It’s a very exciting time for you.”
Interim superintendent Robert Miller was slated to attend but was absent after undergoing outpatient knee surgery earlier in the day. Executive Director of Business Services Joe Simonecshi replaced him on the dais.
School officials said the plans will be evaluated and a winner should be chosen by the end of the year.