The Connector Building

Metropolitan Community College, the largest community college in the state of Nebraska, approached BVH to implement their South Omaha Campus Phase I Master Plan. BVH, along with SmithgroupJJR, originally designed the Master Plan for the 40-acre campus, incorporating 21st-century learning and working environments while bridging two formerly separate buildings.

The $15 million project created a dramatic linear connection between the existing Mahoney Building and Industrial Training Center. The “Connector” is more than 500 feet long and experiences an 11-foot rise in floor elevation from the Industrial Training Center to Mahoney. The link between the two existing buildings formed the third side of a new pedestrian mall that serves as a gateway to the surrounding community. Pathways, lighting and extensive landscaping replaced the existing parking lots, creating a vibrant green community space known as the “Quad.”

The Connector Building serves as a student center with meeting rooms, classrooms, computer labs, faculty offices, a café/food court and student services and provides an enclosed bridge with a direct connection to the library. This bridge is wide enough to accommodate student study and conversational areas along its length.

An over-street connection links with the South Omaha branch of the Omaha Public Library and accommodates a bus route, planned in partnership with the local transit authority, using federal grant funds. This new street directs 11 bus routes through campus, with each stopping at the Connector Building’s south entrance.

Location

Omaha, NE

Year Completed

2007

Owner

Metropolitan Community College

Size

75,000 sq. ft.

BVH Team

“This was a complex, multi-phase project involving several public partnerships beyond the college. From the beginning, BVH demonstrated leadership and a client-centered focus that allowed all stakeholders to understand not only the challenges but also the possibilities of what could be achieved. Ultimately the entire project touched almost every square foot of a nearly 40-acre site. The result is a testament to what coordination and mutual effort can achieve in a publicly funded facility.”

Randy Schmailzl | President, Metropolitan Community College