Linn–Benton Community College Benton Center Expansion

Corvallis, Oregon

How do we double a building's size and expand its educational functions while honoring its historic integrity?

Linn–Benton Community College Benton Center Expansion. This image shows a community college ceramic studio with glass garage-style doors that are rolled up to connect the space to an outdoor plaza. In the background there is secure metal-mesh-surrounded wing containing kilns and stored equipment. A man can be seein in the studio using a pottery wheel.

Originally built as an elementary school in 1924, this Corvallis branch of Linn-Benton Community College (LBCC) was lacking the appropriate spaces for college teaching and learning. There were no faculty offices, and no range or flexibility in classroom sizes for the various program types offered by the college. Student study and collaborative spaces were also completely lacking. To add to the problems, the historic building had undergone several insensitive additions over the years that adversely affected its appearance and circulation.

In 2004, the Benton Center was expanded to over twice its size and transformed into a thriving college space. The project included a two-story addition where the school’s original gym once stood, as well as an extensive remodel of the original 20,000 sf building to fit the college’s needs.

The core of the new building includes a spacious student center opposite a new, larger bookstore. The new addition contains classrooms that accommodate a wide range of class sizes, a ceramics studio and fitness facilities. Most of all, the remodel and addition allow students a better place to learn and collaborate as well as allows the Benton Center to better fill the Community’s needs.

Year Completed:
20,000 sf addition

Project Contact:
Edward Running, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Partner, Market Lead
Historic South Elevation
North Elevation

“Thank you for our beautiful branch campus. Lots of oohs and aahs from staff, faculty, and the community.”

Penny York
Director, Benton Center