ATLANTA, GA  – When Lanier Technical College began developing its new campus in Winder, Georgia, it needed a education building to support its Allied Health Sciences Program and their Business Technology track, along with its vocational training program of Automotive Technology, Welding, Mechatronics, and Commercial Refrigeration/HVAC. Pond & Company led the architecture/design team to develop a facility to accommodate both student constituencies. The resulting facility includes state-of-the-art vocational training tools and industrial labs along with academic spaces, a teaching laboratory and simulation areas. This stand-alone “campus” building also features an administrative suite, library, and a student lounge / bookstore / café.

For the automotive and welding programs, conventional and cost-effective pre-engineered sheds were used in keeping with the industrial nature of the programs. A more conventional two-story structure houses the sciences and administrative components. Metal siding combined with brick further fuses together both the trades and sciences wings resulting in a cohesive building exterior.

Transparency throughout the facility was an important aspect of the project, not only to promote connectivity between spaces, but to also showcase the research and technology within. Learning spaces are not confined to the classrooms or labs – building systems in the public spaces of the industrial wing were left exposed, so the workings of mechanical, structural, plumbing and electrical systems could be employed for student learning. Students who were studying these systems could also “see” them in action. Allowing access to HVAC equipment enables the students to apply classroom material to real life applications.

The Georgia Chapter of the ACEC (American Council of Engineering Companies) awarded this project with a Merit Award in 2015. To learn more about the Barrow Academic Building, view the Project Portfolio.

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