STC Technology Campus, McAllen, Texas | Architect: EGV Architects, Hidalgo, Texas | © Frontera Media

South Texas College (STC) Technology Campus Expansion

Project: South Texas College (STC) Technology Campus Expansion, McAllen, TX | USA
Location/Country: McAllen, TX | USA
EGV Architects, Hidalgo, TX | USA
Fabricator & Installer: Bowman Distributing Co., Edinburg, TX | USA
General Contractor: E-Con Group, LLC., Edinburg, TX | USA
Year of completion: 2017
Color: Silver Metallic, Custom STC Green, Custom STC Violet
Photos: © Frontera Media

The ceremony’s memorably constructed ribbon and cutting technique were befitting of the former plastics manufacturing site, which was renovated to serve as home to the college’s Institute of Advanced Manufacturing and offices of Continuing Professional Workforce Education as well as its welding, construction management, electrician technology and precision manufacturing programs.

The $9.3 million 72,000-square-foot STC Technology Campus expansion features offices and classrooms as well as computer, training and robotics labs and sits adjacent to the current campus.

“The existing building looked like a typical warehouse,” said Eduardo Vela, AIA, principal, EGV Architects, Inc., of Hidalgo, Texas, which served as architect of record for the project. “We had to start with a well-worn manufacturing site and turn it into a state-of-the-art teaching facility.”

The STC Technology Campus’ mission is to provide students with hands-on educational experiences required to fill jobs in the area’s industries.

EGV Architects wanted to maintain an “industrial” aesthetic in the retrofit as well as establish a campus identity, according to Vela. Part of that latter goal was met with the incorporation of custom STC school colors in building cladding.

The project features 15,200 square feet of 4mm ALUCOBOND® PLUS aluminum composite material (ACM) by 3A Composites USA, including: 6,200 square feet of Custom STC Green, 2,700 square feet of Custom STC Violet and 6,300 square feet of Silver Metallic.

“We chose to use ALUCOBOND PLUS as a decorative theme for the college,” said Vela. “It’s low maintenance and requires no painting. Once ALUCOBOND is installed, it’s there – unlike stucco that tends to fade. The custom green and violet ALUCOBOND will be there for many years with no maintenance. The ALUCOBOND was a good fit; it makes the campus architecturally appealing.”

While selecting weather-resistant ALUCOBOND® PLUS as decorative cladding may have been an easy choice, Vela said renovating an existing building designed for manufacturing into college classrooms, offices and labs was much more difficult than designing new construction.

Renovating the industrial building into an educational setting required working around a load-bearing wall in the middle of the manufacturing facility as well as existing columns, bracing and roof heights not designed for classrooms. The renovation required much of the existing building’s interior to be demolished and an entrance created where there previously was none.

EGV Architects was able to add 4,621 square of additional space to the existing building’s north side to serve as an outdoor welding lecture space and lab while maintaining the industrial architectural idea, according to Vela.

Broaddus & Associates, headquartered in Austin, Texas, provided project management services for South Texas College. E-Con Group, LLC , of Edinburg, Texas, served as general contractor for the project.

Bowman Distributing Co., of San Benito, Texas, which fabricated and installed the Alucobond panels with a rain screen system, began work with EGV Architects in the design stage.

In addition to the renovated building’s decorative design elements clad in the Custom STC Violet and Custom STC Green ALUCOBOND® PLUS, the building’s design features a highly visible entrance to a two-story lobby that is covered by a canopy and columns clad in Silver Metallic ALUCOBOND® PLUS.

“The entry to the campus is very visible to the whole area,” said Marchan. “We’ve received very positive comments from the architect about this project, and the school loved it. We’re very pleased with the outcome of this project.”

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