Volume 9, Number 12
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Member Spotlight: Kaua`i Community College
The One Stop Center
Students at Kaua`i Community College, a small comprehensive school on the Garden Island of the state of Hawaii, came to school this fall to a beautiful new building that has changed the way students do business. The One Stop Center (OSC), a two story, 33,010 square-foot building designed by architectural firm AM Partners, Inc., and built by contractor Bodell Construction Company at a cost of $11,631,845, sits at the main entrance of the 200-acre campus and collects all student services under one roof. Student services offices surround a large, naturally lighted lobby area that boasts five recently donated paintings by local artist Ray Yoshida of the Chicago Imagist School. And there is still plenty of room for additional art displays and gatherings of up to 100 people. Plans for the space call for numerous partnerships and ways to increase community college interaction. For example, the college plans to partner with the Kaua`i Museum to host exhibitions of local interest, such as plantation life or Japanese internment camps, and provide programming for visitors, whether they are college students, K-12 students, or community members. The space also housed a recent board of regents meeting, and will soon be the venue for a salsa concert. Such a variety of uses of the space brings the campus alive for both students and community while providing effective services for students.
As the only higher education institution on the island, Kaua`i Community College provides transfer, career and technical, and continuing education courses and programs. In addition, a strong University Center provides Kaua`i residents the opportunity to get a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a number of programs without leaving the island. The school feels a special sense of responsibility to meet the needs of native Hawaiian students and to respect the host culture and place. The One Stop Center reflects this not only through the accessibility of services, but in the landscaping of the building itself. In addition to native plantings, science professor Brian Yamamoto selected leaves from native endemic or indigenous plants of Kaua`i and Polynesian introduced plants to be imprinted on the large pathway connecting the One Stop Center to the rest of campus. Leaves from these plants were harvested from all over the island, representing the diversity of the students and the many dreams and aspirations fulfilled at Kaua`i Community College. Star-shaped kukui nut leaves are imprinted at the entrance of the building representing enlightenment; the kukui, or candlenut, is a source of light.
While the placement of the new building at the front of the campus invites the over 1,100 credit students, Phase II of the project will address the needs of noncredit students and provide additional resources for all students. A single story building with over 19,000 square feet of space, Phase II will house the bookstore and offices for continuing education and training as well as four much-needed classrooms, three computer labs, and a testing room. The Office of Continuing Education and Training is responsible for the management of all noncredit training and course offerings as well as the noncredit international program. It also oversees the apprenticeship training program, a federal rural development grant and a United States Department of Agriculture entrepreneurial training program. These programs, which enroll approximately 1,200 students, currently operate primarily from old trailers, portable offices, and borrowed classrooms.
The new space will allow Kaua`i Community College to significantly increase its noncredit enrollment and provide an inviting place where lifelong learners will conveniently enroll in and attend noncredit classes. Phase II will also be used by the various trades in the apprenticeship program for the classroom segment of training. With the completion of both phases of the One Stop Center project, the Kaua`i Community College campus will have a new look and feel that will invite and serve both students and community.