Tulsa Community College has torn down the walls and made it more convenient for students to enroll all in one place while at the same time creating a new “front door” for its oldest campus, Metro, located at 909 S. Boston Ave.
“Today’s student uses tools we hadn’t even thought of when we moved into the Metro Campus more than 35 years ago. This major renovation and the addition of the First Stop will incorporate all of today’s technology and new concepts for serving students who demand high-tech and high-touch assistance for making choices about college,” said Dr. Thomas McKeon, president and CEO.
The new renovation has been in progress for more than a year and includes a new entrance for the College on Ninth Street, a completely renovated enrollment services area with everything a student needs to start college within a few paces, and a new library area with less book “stack” space while at the same time expanding online research and study areas. A new sprinkler system was installed throughout the building.
The renovation and addition of the First Stop center cost nearly $4 million and included a total demolition and redesign of more than 52,000 square feet on the first and second floors of the building. Additional renovation was complete on floors three through six.
“Not only is the design contemporary and different than we have ever had before, but our goal is to be able to keep eye contact with every student who needs assistance when they enroll,” said Brett Campbell, Provost for Students Affairs. “There will be no more sending prospective students from one door and one floor to the other. Everything will be with a short distance and they will have the latest in technology to enroll on our campus,” Campbell continued.
Mike Rusk, Dean of the Learning Resource Centers, said today’s college students use libraries very differently than they have in the past. As a result, TCC reduced the space allocated for books and increased to 48 the number of computer work stations so that students can use the College’s extensive online resources and database collections.
“Not only do we have a remarkable number of collections and sources online that we have purchased for our students but our students can link with libraries throughout the world. Our new space will provide the latest in study and research services,” said Rusk.
All of the new areas including the library and the First Stop center will be added at the remaining TCC campuses over time.
“First Stop will help streamline the enrollment process and is geared to be very service oriented,” said Administrative Director of Physical Facilities Mina Lotti. “No longer will students have to wait in long lines for enrollment services, advisement, financial aid assistance and more. First Stop will be filled with computers and professionals who can assist students with everything they need to enroll with one stop,” said Lotti.
The 14-month renovation by the Dewberry Design Group Incorporated of Tulsa is only the second major renovation on the Metro Campus since it opened in 1970. The up-to-date area includes different offices and services for assistance and several computer terminals for student use. Students can get enrolled, write a paper, do research or just take a break between classes in this inviting location adorned with modern furniture and blue lights.
Dignitaries on hand for the ribbon cutting included TCC Regents, President and CEO Dr. Thomas McKeon, Provost for Student Affairs Dr. Brett Campbell, Metro Campus Provost Dr. Flo Potts and Student Government Association Vice President James Johnson.
TCC is one of the most comprehensive community colleges in the nation and ranks in the top 25 in the number of graduates annually. Serving 27,000 students annually in college credit courses, TCC is the state’s largest two-year college with four campuses in the Tulsa area.