Reinventing the Center of Campus

Center for Student Success

South Puget Sound Community College

Through a multi-year master plan process the campus was repositioned to put people at the core, with the library and student services arranged at the center of campus. This was the mission of the design team and how Building 22 was redeveloped at the campus center to become the Center for Student Success.


89,500 sf


Olympia, WA

Year Complete



LEED Silver

Building 22 was the first and only permanent building on the campus and was used primarily for the automotive and welding programs which the school was founded on as a vocational and technical institute.

Completely reinvented in use, the original steel skeleton of Building 22 remains as a memory of the first campus building. Linking the history of a vocational institute to a new present and future as a comprehensive college, the building offers a vast array of academic programs.

A new commons is now the heart of college activities and connecting functions that touch all students and faculty, as well as greatly improving cross-campus circulation between adjacent buildings. All student services such as the library, advising, tutoring, media services, and technology can be used by students through easy access to staff cross-trained to serve from one place.

The old building was a “second floor only” place, with a dark ground plane that was undesirable and not used as an entry for people. The renovation and redevelopment of the Center for Student Success has recaptured the first floor of old Building 22 and reinvigorated the core of the College. It is the first place of contact for entering students and visitors, and a place for returning students to use throughout their educational experience.

Creating the Center for Student Success has redefined the ground plane, both inside and out, and made it a “first floor” building and place for people. No longer a service entry for automotive and welding programs, the re-imagined exterior spaces around the building are now primarily pedestrian friendly.

The project embodies the concept that learning happens everywhere, and creates a convenient and powerful shared experience for all campus users.