In 1998, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the City of Virginia Beach jointly funded the Advanced Technology Center, a partnership of Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS), Tidewater Community College (TCC), and the city of Virginia Beach (CVB). This project brought three public institutions together to address the rapidly growing need for technology-based workforce CAPACITY937COST PER SQ FT$118.45FEATURED IN2004 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized in the city of Virginia Beach and the surrounding region.
The goal was to create a facility designed around a seamless, four-year technology-focused curriculum for secondary and post-secondary students.
The Advanced Technology Center (ATC) serves as the transition building between Tidewater Community College and Old Dominion University’s Virginia Beach satellite campus. The two-story student street unites both campuses into a single “academic village.” This academic village provides VBCPS high school students the opportunity to earn technology certifications as well as associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees on a single campus.
The building is organized into interdisciplinary “technology clusters.” This encourages collaboration and resource-sharing opportunities among these secondary/post-secondary partners. Technology clusters in the building include engineering, graphics, robotics and computer applications. The clusters have common pedagogical goals and provide true integration of all three institutions throughout the building. Collaborative opportunities include synchronization of high school and community college schedules, sharing of faculty, and use of VBCPS classroom lab space by TCC students during late afternoon and evening hours.
The design also showcases the public investment in technology. A top-lighted “smart student street,” which includes “telecommunity lounges,” provides numerous views into technology laboratories.
The facility accommodates:
•VBCPS vocational and technology programs.
•TCC business and computer technology programs.
•CVB shell and incubator space for the Department of Economic Development and a new broadcast studio for Virginia Beach Television (VBTV).
In anticipation of future technological advancements, all areas were evaluated to forecast their programmatic life span and subsequently outfitted to simplify future reconfiguration. In addition, all informal areas of the building are provided with access to a wireless network, including the student street, lounges and group-study rooms.