NORWALK, Conn. -- Norwalk Community College is planning a few capital projects designed to help bring its students closer together.
The first part of the plan includes the construction of a bridge over Richards Avenue, said college President David Levinson. The college is working with architects and design of the bridge will begin soon. The goal of the bridge is to connect the east and west campuses of the school and make it safer for students crossing Richards Avenue.
"It will help fortify the sense of community here," Levinson said.
The project is expected to last two or three years, Levinson said. Among the ideas originally considered to deal with passage between the two campuses was to close off Richards Avenue and unite the two campuses, but Levinson said that was not realistic. He said it would be a second-story pedestrian bridge, but would have to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The potential cost of the project is unknown, and Levinson said college officials will have a better idea when they meet with the architects and begin the design process.
The school is also planning a redesign of the cafeteria in the west campus into a student union. The cafeteria would be refurbished, and a second cafeteria opened for culinary students. There would also be space for a bookstore and for student activities.
"We want to create the experience of a residential college, that feeling of belonging," Levinson said.
Another design the college is working on is a expansion of the school's theater on the east campus. Levinson said that the school is planning a refurbishment of the theater into a "first-class performing arts space." Levinson said that in addition to the school's focus on STEM courses (science, technology, engineering and math), NCC also wants to give its students a high-quality arts education. He said that in talking with employers, the skills one learns in art classes are very desirable.
"Art teaches students how to communicate, how to work in teams and be creative," Levinson said. The new theater space would allow for more arts classes and performances, with high-tech lighting and sound equipment and more space.