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NIACC Breaks Ground on STEM Education Center

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states job opportunities in STEM fields are expected to grow 29% by the year 2020, adding 2.1 million new jobs. North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City is taking the lead in preparing students who aim to find a career in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math by adding a new STEM Education Center to campus.

Bergland + Cram partnered with NIACC to design the addition to include more and better space for STEM programs, better lab layouts, and improved student/staff interaction areas. The new addition will also have improved lighting, provide more open learning environment, and create a new strong identity to the campus which speaks of progression and forward thinking.

Working closely with NIACC Administration and staff helped us to identify a strong design point of view for the STEM Education Center, linking old elements with new. A core idea of a trend line emerged from a break in materials on the existing Science Center. This trend line, representing a point from which other elements can be measured, is carried throughout the project. This graphing point relates back to the areas of study encountered by students within the center.

“In a student’s journey through a STEM discipline, they would come in contact with each department, though to differing degrees depending on their academic path,” said Kerry Anderson, Project Architect.  “Translating that idea to the building’s design, we drew inspiration from the brick and concrete materials of the

existing Science building and continued that line of demarcation through the new addition, both on the exterior and the interior.”

We are honored to continue our decades long relationship with North Iowa Area Community College through the construction of this project. The NIACC STEM Education Center is slated for completion in 2018 to celebrate NIACC’s 100th year anniversary.