The interior designers for Indiana Wesleyan University's Lexington Education Center just received a 'Traveling Gun Interior Design of the Year" award for their work on the recently-opened facility.
A public open house and dedication ceremony are planned June 1 for the 14,400-square foot education center, which commenced operation in November. The open house will begin at 12:30 p.m. with the dedication set for 1 p.m.
The award comes from the Northern Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties. "Traveling gun" is the term for work done on a property outside of the northern Ohio chapter.
"It's quite lovely," said Barrie Wilson, Office Manager of the Lexington facility, calling it a "110 percent' improvement over the previous location.
For students, Wilson said the new education center has become more than just a place to stop for class---there's also well-appointed, welcoming space for eating and studying. The Lexington Education Center is also available as a conference center for area businesses and organizations that want to reserve space for workshops, conferences, meetings and other activities.
The center has six technologically up-to-date classrooms, two of which can convert into one larger room, as well as group study rooms, an expanded student lounge/break area, computer lab/library area, chapel, administrative office suite, and executive conference room.
"Our student lounge has been referred to as almost a Panera Bread-like cafe setting," Wilson said. "What's great is that the students come in earlier from the office and they might have another student with them and they'll have dinner back here in the lounge before class begins."
The center also offers a space for prayer, worship and reflection.
"The chapel is lovely," Wilson said. "The stained glass at the front of the chapel---the revers side of it is here in our lobby."
Dennis Martin, IWU's director for regional operations, said that IWU has a similar ethos for the education centers that Starbucks does for its coffee shops: to create a "third place" besides home and work where a student can feel that they belong.
"We definitely present an upscale space, but not feeling ostentatious or unapproachable," Martin said.