The learning environment is only just beginning once a student graduates from High School. Where they go next significantly impacts their career development whether they pursue further education at a Trade School, Junior College or 4-year University. What helps many students decide upon their program of choice is not only what they want to do with their studies, but where. The location of the school, the amenities made available and the environment, on the whole, will influence that decision. For each student, those factors will vary, from state-of-the-art Science labs to Art Studios, complex Media Centers and Sustainability considerations. Here are a few examples of Higher Education projects both inside and out, that pack the punches on student (and parent) school hit lists.

The wow factor is unmistakable here at Hartnell College, located in Salinas, CA. This new Science building covers all the bases: lecture spaces, wet and dry labs, a jaw-dropping planetarium, offices and more. The curriculum of the entire College’s science program is taught here including more atypical branches of science such as zoology, micro and molecular biology, astronomy, geology and engineering. Science on display is incorporated throughout the building, besides the planetarium, there is a Foucault Pendulum installed on the first floor and numerous other interactive works which serve to delight the senses as well as to teach. Designed to be able to meet LEED Silver certification, sustainable features include low and zero VOC paint products, wood components that contain no formaldehyde and the air systems moderate a continuous fresh air flow from the temperate climate of the surrounding Salinas area.

This three-story building has 47 classrooms and labs along with offices and meeting rooms in Rocklin, CA. Designed for flexibility in both teaching and office spaces, the growth of the school necessitated numerous technology labs to serve the Liberal Arts program, Business Technology and Mathematics departments. Extensive ADA upgrades make the building accessible to all. An informal outdoor space was also created and outfitted with tables and chairs to provide opportunities for impromptu learning, study groups and socialization. Sustainable elements include climbing native plants that cover a new structurally engineered retaining wall and plenty of natural daylight flooding the indoors.

This flexible and technology-rich space functions as a teaching tool for architecture and construction students. At LEED Platinum, the sustainable design elements are numerous including an internal circulation system that can be zoned to specific times and areas of the building and abundant natural daylighting. Located in Sacramento, CA the programs supported in this building also include Photography, Pharmacy, Architecture and Business Administration. The central lobby is an entry beacon that leads to an amazing two-story Community Room which is a draw for both the school and the region.

Located on the former Onizuka Airforce Station in Sunnyvale, CA, this dynamic build of a new multi-purpose Education Center fosters excellence, opportunity and innovation. With 24 instructional classrooms and lab spaces, it is designed to fit right into the high tech environment of Silicon Valley which surrounds it. With administration spaces, student services and group study spaces within, this building meets all of the school’s current expansion needs and responds to the diverse student population. This project recently attained LEED Platinum certification, an incredibly challenging feat that notably includes native low irrigation plant landscaping, natural ventilation for all instructional classrooms and high-efficiency systems installed throughout.

In short, with all the Higher Education choices available to the next generation, there are a myriad of ways to consider how to appeal to their mindset. 21st-century technology, efficient design and a memorable ‘wow-factor’ will certainly go a long way. To learn more about Lionakis’ Higher Education Projects, click here.