Facility Focus (Student Centers)

Bergen Community College: Student Center

Bergen Community College


To address an increase in enrollment and student center traffic at Bergen Community College, the largest community college in New Jersey, DMR Architects of Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, designed a renovation and expansion of the student center to transform a divided campus into a single entity.

The Student Center, the hub of the campus, serves a population of more than 17,000 students, faculty, staff and visitors. Previously, the building lacked a clearly defined entrance, interior space was divided, and interior circulation was inefficient. The building contained narrow stairs, ramps and passageways; food service areas were too small; and the building contained no exterior space.

In renovating and expanding the facility, it was important to create an identity for the building and provide more collaborative seating and lounge options, as well as accommodate growing student clubs. The renovated Student Center now provides efficient interior and exterior seating, a defined entrance, a wider and intuitive circulation pattern and a flexible layout.

The building was designed with sustainability at its core, including numerous sustainable features, such as a green roof, which helps reduce heat loads and stormwater run-off. It also provides an aesthetically pleasing solution to addressing the views of the roof from offices above. Other sustainable features include a new high-efficiency mechanical system, a wood and aluminum curtain wall system, high-efficiency glazing, energy-efficient lighting, low-flow fixtures and locally sourced materials.

The 24,000-square-foot Student Center now provides the students of Bergen Community College with a modernized space for collaboration and social interaction. The project has transformed this vital access point to the campus and has provided a new identity to the college.

This article originally appeared in the issue of .