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Facilities Management and Planning
HCC recently renovated three instructional buildings and completed construction on a brand new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Building. The five-story STEM Building houses all of HCC’s STEM programs including biotechnology, alternative energy, cybersecurity, and many others. It includes sophisticated laboratories, classrooms, and faculty offices, and features several green components including a rainwater harvesting system, solar panels, and two green roofs.
HCC’s Kepler Theater was expanded to include the addition of a Performing and Visual Arts Education Center, which features a dance studio/black box theater, campus gallery, classrooms, music practice rooms, art rooms, and faculty offices. The theater itself was also renovated and now includes expanded dressing rooms, a costume shop, and extended wardrobe storage.
First built in 1966, the existing Classroom Building and the former Science Building were renovated in 2013. The Classroom Building became the Behavioral Sciences and Humanities (BSH) Building and now houses classrooms, faculty office, and the new Fletcher Faculty Development Center. The former Science Building was renamed the Learning Support Center (LSC) in honor of its new function: the central location for HCC’s developmental education programs and tutoring services. The LSC offers drop-in student tutoring on a variety of subjects including science, math, English, and computers.
Within the five-story STEM Building are sophisticated new spaces for HCC’s biotechnology, alternative energy technology, and cybersecurity programs. The building’s design has incorporated many sustainable and green technologies for energy efficiency and instructional purposes.
Fun Facts about the STEM Building
- The STEM Building features a special rainwater harvesting system. Rainwater is collected from standard roof drains, which is then collected in two giant cisterns on the 3rd floor. Water collected in the cisterns is used to flush toilets on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th floors of the building.
- Green roof features are located on the 3rd and 5th floor of the STEM Building. The green roof plants absorb water like a sponge and help reduce the rainwater runoff from the roof, which in turn reduces energy costs as less storm-water sewer capacity is needed.
- An array of solar panels is featured on the roof. The four adjustable angle solar arrays are tied to the electrical grid that provides power for the STEM Building. These solar arrays will produce approximately six kilowatts of power, which will contribute to the overall power for the building.
- The building also features special solar shades on the exterior, which help to combat heat and reduce energy costs in the building.
- The ceiling above the exterior staircase features the constellations of Cancer and Aquarius. Those constellations were chosen because they represent the beginning and end of construction on the building.
The renovated Kepler Performing and Visual Arts Education Center contains a black box theater, practice rooms, dance studio, classrooms, expanded dressing rooms, costume shop, extended wardrobe storage, faculty offices, and a completely refurbished theater. HCC is expanding its offerings in these areas and now provides a natural place of transition for students coming from the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts. Learn more about HCC's Arts and Humanities programs.
Fun Facts about the Kepler Center
- The building is named in honor of HCC's first college president, Dr. Atlee C. Kepler, who served as president of the college from 1961 to 1986.
- The original 15,000 sq. ft. building was constructed in 1978 and consisted solely of a 442-seat theater and a small campus gallery.
- The new addition features the two-story, 28,000 sq. ft. Performing and Visual Arts Education Center.
- The theater now has 491 seats instead of 442.
- The theater stage has been recovered and extended, new curtains have been installed, and theater sound and lighting systems have been upgraded.