This project was an addition of a new 240,000 square foot Technical College to an existing Community College, with the goal of co-locating and, to some extent, merging the two institutions. The site is a high bluff overlooking the Mississippi River in Brainerd, Minnesota.

Central Lakes College trains its students for a broad range of trades including business administration, building engineering, nursing, environmental services, dental hygiene, bookkeeping, travel, occupational training, floriculture, auto repair, auto body, auto painting, welding, small motor repair, motorcycle repair, and vending machine repair.

A core structure was designed to form the joint between old and new. The Core is a large two-story building with admissions and student services, a restaurant, the bookstore, administration classrooms, and a customized training facility.

A large wing dubbed the "Education Mall" is attached to the west side of the Core. In it, labs and classrooms are arrayed like retail shops. Large storefront windows face inward to a two-story circulation space from which the teaching spaces may be observed by student passersby.

Two large "Technology and Industry Wings" penetrate the north facade of the Education Mall to form an automobile court. The T&I Wings accommodate large spaces that are required for automobile repair, auto body repair, auto painting, welding, recreational vehicle repair, motorcycle repair, and vending machine repair. Much of the space provided for these activities is double height in order to accommodate hoists and craneways, but the building has been planned so that this double-height space may someday be filled with two stories of standard classrooms, should the need arise.

Centerbrook was Design Architect and Winsor Faricy was Architect of Record

Photography © Koyama Photographic