Southeast Community College – Academic Excellence Center

  • area / size 52,000 sqft
  • Completed 2020
  • Multistudio completed the Academic Excellence Center as the first renovated space for Southeast Community College in Beatrice, Nebraska.

    Designed by Multistudio (formerly Gould Evans) — an impact-focused, multidisciplinary design practice — the 52,000 square foot Academic Excellence Center is the first building constructed as part of Southeast Community College’s campus revitalization master plan. Located in rural Nebraska, the facility houses classrooms, labs, offices, a large multipurpose space, and outdoor learning areas, supporting a wide variety of disciplines spanning physics and health sciences to music and fine arts.

    An interior circulation spine acts as a main “pedestrian street'” off of which “cul-de-sacs” connect classrooms, studios, and an office program. The exterior fiber-reinforced concrete panels continue into the interior, defining the main street and providing a tactile separation between the interior and exterior experience. Interior transparencies place learning on display, connecting flexible learning spaces to open areas for student-teacher collaboration.

    Giving a nod to its humble surroundings, the building celebrates and emphasizes the rural vernacular of Nebraska through color, texture, rhythm, and scale, both inside and out. Building organization further supports wellness through biophilia — providing panoramic views of the pastoral setting beyond and prioritizing daylighting to all program spaces.

    With energy conservation at the forefront, this project leveraged the 2030 Challenge to reach a 70% reduction in energy over similar buildings, contributing to more fiscally sustainable infrastructure and a significant reduction in carbon use — creating a model for new STEM facilities throughout the country.

    Design: Multistudio
    Associate Architect: BVH Architecture
    Photography: Michael Robinson