Montgomery County Community College celebrated the reopening of the newly renovated first floor of the South Hall building at its Pottstown Campus on April 10 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tours of the new spaces.
“The College takes a holistic approach to education, ensuring all students receive what they need to be successful through the intentional design of the college experience, as you can see here today,” said Dr. Victoria Bastecki-Perez, MCCC President, at the ceremony. “The College is proud to have picked Pottstown over a quarter century ago to firmly establish the Pottstown Campus in this area to inspire, lead and transform destinies and future generations.”
The first floor of South Hall was purposely reimagined and designed to support students comprehensively by bringing student services together in one area and providing flexible spaces for study, collaboration and engagement.
“When we started planning for this project, we met with students, faculty, staff, and community members to hear their ideas on how we could transform this space,” said Therol Dix, MCCC Vice President of the Pottstown Campus and Educational Partnerships. “We took the feedback and incorporated it into the planning and design. We have created spaces that are aesthetically attractive, student-focused and adaptable.”
Areas such as the student commons, for example, can be reconfigured to accommodate community events and gatherings, such as blood drives, workshops and meetings, among others.
"Working together helps us reach beyond what we think is possible," said David Kraybill, MCCC trustee and Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation president. "The College is uniquely situated to join alongside and serve as a resource for the many Pottstown area organizations that have been collaborating for decades to shape the future of our community."
The renovated space includes a global display system known as Science on a Sphere (made possible in part by Sylvia & Carl Landis) that can be used for all types of planetary data; Educational Furniture Solutions Esports Room for MCCC’s Mustangs esports team that is part of its Athletics Program; fitness room; showers; renovated library; testing and tutoring spaces; student services area (financial aid, advising, registration); Montco Market and dining area; laundry and lactation rooms; adjustable study spaces; student commons/community area; all-inclusive restroom; and a game room.
Fifty percent of the South Hall renovation cost of $4,235,000 was a capital appropriation from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the rest of the cost was funded by institutional funds.
MCCC’s South Hall opened in 1996 and was the first of four buildings of the Pottstown Campus (then known as West Campus). Since that time, the campus footprint has grown to include North Hall at 16 East High Street, the Sustainability and Innovation Hub at 140 College Drive and the building at 95 South Hanover Street.
As the community’s college, MCCC has been investing in the campus and Pottstown community through several unique initiatives to inspire and support learners of all ages and stages of life.
In August 2022, MCCC opened a Challenger Learning Center – the first and only center in Pennsylvania – to introduce middle school children to immersive science-based space mission in order to inspire them for higher education.
In December 2022, MCCC opened its comprehensive Wellness Center in North Hall. This innovative model provides support services for a variety of essential needs, including counseling, food, sensory, health and wellness services, among others. The Wellness Center was funded through a $1 million Community Mental Health Services Block Grant from Montgomery County. The funds were earmarked by the Commonwealth for community colleges to support students experiencing mental health challenges.
MCCC’s future projects include the conversion of the parking lot at North Hall into a community green space that can be enjoyed by students and residents. Along College Drive, MCCC has plans to install a planetary trail – a voyage scale solar system – that will start at 95 S. Hanover Street, thanks to the support of funding through the office of U.S. Senator Bob Casey.
In addition, the College’s Hanover Street building is undergoing renovations, thanks to a recent award of $1.5 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program funding through the support of State Representative Joe Ciresi, for the Pottstown Children’s Discovery Center, one of the College’s newest community partners.