Work began this week to renovate the Holland Center, located on Van Buren Street on the Monterey Institute campus. The plan is for principal construction to be completed in December and the new student facilities to open before the start of the spring semester in late January.
The Holland Center has long served as a favorite place for Monterey Institute students to convene, whether to work on class projects, host social gatherings or play a game of ping-pong. The building is really a hybrid of three separate buildings or additions, and served as the Institute’s cafeteria before being replaced by the Samson Student Center in 2001.
The renovation is partially donor-funded and incorporates key concepts that the Student Council identified that they would like to see in a refurbished Holland Center. The project will open the space up into one large area divided into flexible sections. There will be a kitchen area where students can heat up meals or store their food in a refrigerator, and tables both inside and out on the large new patio. There will also be space for students to work together in groups, making use of large flat-screen televisions that can be used as display monitors, or just to kick back and enjoy watching a film or sporting event together. And of course, continuing a MIIS tradition, there will be a ping-pong table.
“This is a very exciting project for us,” says Director of Facilities Andrew Hernandez, who is overseeing the renovations, beginning with stripping the building down to the frame and overhauling all wiring and plumbing. There is considerable excitement on campus about this project, and as is characteristic of the Institute’s enterprising community, people have already started to develop their plans to make good use of this happy addition to the MIIS campus.