Posted Online: Jan. 27, 2013, 6:50 pm

BHC creates a new 'front door'

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By Anthony Watt, awatt@qconline.com

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Photo: Paul Colletti
Dominic King moves new office furniture into the remodeled student center at Black Hawk College in Moline on Thursday, January 24, 2013. Finishing touches are being put on the building that has been redesigned inside and out to give the campus a 'front door.'
More photos from this shoot
Photo: Paul Colletti
Gary Swift builds a display wall inside Black Hawk College's new bookstore - called the Hawk's Hub - on Thursday, January 24, 2013. The building was designed with student input and brings many student needs together in one location.
More photos from this shoot
Photo: Paul Colletti
While construction continues and office furniture is moved into the building Black Hawk College vice president for student services Dr. Dick Vallandingham explains where current and prospective students will be able to get answers about admissions and classes during a tour of the redesigned student center on Thursday, January 24, 2013.
A remodel of Building 1 on Black Hawk College's Moline campus will give students a "one-stop shop" experience for student services.

The $3,934,211 upgrade began last June 1 and is expected to be finished by April. It includes a reorganization of the upper and lower lobbies and several offices, according to Black Hawk officials. The project is being paid for with bond funds.

Dick Vallandingham, Black Hawk vice presidentfor student services and dean of students, said the project creates what he calls a "front door" for the college.

As far as front doors go, it's enormous -- a two-story, 9,800-square-foot addition on the west side of the building.

"Doesn't that say 'come in?'" Mr. Vallandingham said Thursday, standing outside and looking up at the addition.

The parking next to that building will focus on visitors and new or potential students, with veteran students and others parking in the other lots, he said.

The addition will house an information desk, police substation, student advising and enrollment and a career service center,Mr. Vallandingham said.

These services also will expand, he said. For example, there will be 16 computer terminals available in enrollment and advising, a desk for quick, nuts-and-bolts questions, and offices where advisers and students can talk privately.

There also is a meeting room where events can be held for new or potential students, he said.

Many of the targeted services are scattered around the campus right now. When asked for their input on the project, students told administrators that that was an issue for them.

The hope behind the restructuring is to provide a single area where students have access to everything from getting enrolled to getting their photo identification, he said.

As part of the centralization, the bookstore also will be moved to the lower lobby of Building 1.

All the targeted services are expected to be available by the end of spring break or sooner, Mr. Vallandingham said.

To compensate for the loss of the lower lobby gathering and study space, the area immediately adjacent to the library, which is now used for enrollment and advisement services, will become lounge space.

Mr. Vallandingham said the upper lobby, on the east side, will be remodeled in the second phase of the project. The information booth there will be removed in favor of the one in the addition, and the recruitment offices will be moved into a room near the library. The upper lobby will then become another portion of the lounge.