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Rollins Campus Center + Library Young Harris College


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Rollins Campus Center + Library Young Harris College


Rollins Campus Center + Library Young Harris College

Project Overview

The new Rollins Campus Center has transformed campus life at Young Harris College. Highly anticipated, it is now recognized as the social and intellectual heart of campus. Designed to catapult the student experience into the 21st century, it combines union, dining, event, and library spaces into an innovative mix of uses within one dynamic building. The RCC has made a welcoming place for students, faculty, staff, visitors and alumni to gather together as a college community. According to the college President: “It draws students in like a magnet—they love it and want to be there all the time!�

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Rollins Campus Center + Library Young Harris College

"Prospective students and families get that same feeling when they visit the campus for the first time—an indescribable energy that draws you in."


Rollins Campus Center + Library Young Harris College

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Rollins Campus Center + Library Young Harris College

Campus Transformation

Founded by a circuit-riding Methodist minister in 1886, Young Harris College is a private college located in the remarkable mountain setting of north Georgia. In 2008, Young Harris was awarded four-year status as part of an ambitious transition plan to expand its academic offerings, more than double its student body, and emerge as a leading, regional liberal arts college. Young Harris is mid-way through an unprecedented building program to support this growth. The centerpiece of this transformation is the 121,000-square-foot Campus Center. This new signature facility—3.5-stories of glass, wood, brick, and stone—created a new hub of bustling activity that unites YHC social and academic pursuits and sparks student learning on this thriving campus. YHC’s mission is to “educate, inspire, and empower.” The new Campus Center Director summarized: “I quickly realized that YHC is committed and invested in the lives of its students. Prospective students and families get that same feeling when they visit the campus for the first time—an indescribable energy that draws you in. I truly believe the RCC provides and supports the mission statement—if a student gives the RCC the opportunity, it will have a defining influence on their YHC journey.”


Rollins Campus Center + Library Young Harris College

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Rollins Campus Center + Library Young Harris College


Rollins Campus Center + Library Young Harris College

Campus Context Mountain Views + a Grand Porch for Gatherings

The Rollins Center celebrates the surrounding mountains by opening up panoramic views in the building’s key spaces. It also capitalizes on the temperate climate of the surrounding “Enchanted Valley” by blurring the distinction between inside and outside— with a gracious, elevated campus porch that frames and looks over the college’s iconic central green. Additional roof terraces bring student life to every edge and aspect of the building’s exterior, showcasing the building as a beacon of campus activity and encouraging all to join in. While the RCC is a large and significant building, it is broken into three distinct wings highlighting the event, union, and library spaces. This approach to scale makes the center a friendly companion to the adjacent, historic Susan B. Harris chapel. The architectural language makes for a bold statement, but one that fits effortlessly into the grain of the campus landscape.

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Rollins Campus Center + Library Young Harris College

"I truly believe the RCC provides and supports the mission statement—if a student gives the RCC the opportunity, it will have a defining influence on their YHC journey."


Rollins Campus Center + Library Young Harris College

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Rollins Campus Center + Library Young Harris College

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Student Union Open Circulation

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Library 5

Library Support 6

Dining Dining Support Event Event Support Admin / Student Services

First Floor S:\1041\1041_apl01.dgn 1/18/2016 12:16:26 PM

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Lower Level

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Event Terrace

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Dining Hall Pavilion

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Dining Terrace

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Group Study

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Entry Atrium

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Commons

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Food Service

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Student Success Center

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Cafe / Games Terrace


Rollins Campus Center + Library Young Harris College

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Student Union Open Circulation 4

Library Library Support Dining

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Dining Support Event Event Support Admin / Student Services

Third Floor

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1 Board Room Terrace 2 Roof Terrace 3 Special Collections 4 Student Organizations / Meeting 5 Student Development 6 Senate Chambers / Meeting

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7 Office Of Admissions

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8 Academic Meeting 9 Upper Commons / Porch

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Second Floor

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10 Media Center 11 Group Study

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Rollins Campus Center + Library Young Harris College

"It draws students in like a magnet—they love it and want to be there all the time!"


Rollins Campus Center + Library Young Harris College

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Rollins Campus Center + Library Young Harris College

Program Spaces Building Community + Campus Identity

Students are often found at the atrium lobby’s front desk, greeting visitors and providing details about the building. The 350-seat Banquet Hall provides an elegant venue for group gatherings, guest lectures, workshops and receptions and is open to the surrounding community. Students gather morning, noon, and night in the atrium and common area. The Dining Hall also opens to the southern porch as well as mountain views to the north while comfortably seating more than 500. An adjoining room with a fireplace offers a more intimate space for casual dining or a special event. The Library also opens off of the common area. Featuring a 24-hour open study area, the space easily accommodates books, nooks for studying, and computer stations. Current and prospective students flock to the second floor—home to Student Development and Admissions and the Senate Chamber. Many conference room and group study spaces are available for private study sessions and meetings. The third floor Student Organization Loft is a versatile space that includes dedicated office and meeting areas for spiritual organizations, student media, Greek life, and other clubs. It also features multiple lounge areas, informal meeting spaces and computer workstations for the college’s student leaders. The third floor of the Library boasts designated space for permanent and special collections—including exhibits on the history of YHC—with a roof terrace just off the special collections reading room for special gatherings with breathtaking views. The Lower Level is designed to offer students a space for both motivation and relaxation with a Theater and Gaming Lounge. Before relaxing, though, many students can be found in the Student Success Center, planning course schedules and receiving career advice. With Chickfil-A® always within reach, students, faculty, staff, and members of the community congregate in the restaurant or on the patio.


Rollins Campus Center + Library Young Harris College

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Rollins Campus Center + Library Young Harris College


Rollins Campus Center + Library Young Harris College

Rich Mix of Uses Union, Dining, Event + Library

The Campus Center connects four distinct areas in a single, state-of-the-art structure: a 60,000-square-foot multi-purpose student center, an expanded dining hall boasting a wide variety of food stations, a 350-seat, versatile event facility, and a 40,000-square-foot library and learning commons. The combination of these program elements into one seamless whole creates a vibrant center for campus life. The design embraced a forward-looking library concept—one that serves as a new model for small-group, experiential, problem-based learning. When it comes to spaces for informal social gathering and study, the modern campus library, student union, and dining hall share remarkable similarities. Each building type promotes interaction and collaboration in a variety of settings, encourages students to meet, interact, and learn, all with easy access to technology on a variety of platforms, and faces the same challenges surrounding flexibility, adaptability, and rapidly changing digital resources and technology. Co-locating and cross-training library, campus life, and student development staff brings program synergies to life in a clear and accessible way. Program overlap translates into a more efficient building—with fewer spaces than if built separately. This concentration of use amplifies the sense of activity around learning outside the classroom. As an example, the number of students using the library has increased by nearly 80% since opening.

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Rollins Campus Center + Library Young Harris College

"Within a week of its opening, the Rollins Campus Center truly became what we anticipated —the social and intellectual heart of our campus!"


Rollins Campus Center + Library Young Harris College

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Rollins Campus Center + Library Young Harris College

Materials + Systems

The Rollins Campus Center boasts many sustainable features. A geothermal exchange system of 180 wells uses the earth’s naturally constant temperature to heat and cool the building. Radiant heating and cooling elements called “chilled-beams” in ceilings offer quiet comfort without fan noise or additional energy use. High-performance glass allows for expansive mountain views and ample daylight to spaces. Porch cover shades the southern sun, plus a patterned of silk-screened glass on the Library’s dramatic bay window helps reduce heat gain. Operable, sliding wood shutters allow students to control their own environment for light and privacy in many of the group study spaces—making them feel at home as well as recalling a traditional element. Regional materials include careful use of rustic stone and wood timbers—harvested, extracted or manufactured within 500 miles of the College—with crisp and modern detailing as a forward-looking take on local and regional approaches to building and craft along the spine of the Appalachian Trail.


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VMDO Architects vmdo.com | 434.296.5684 200 E Market St Charlottesville, VA 22902 1200 18th Street NW Suite 700 Washington, DC 20036

For more information on Higher Education work please contact:

For more information on Library work please contact:

David Oakland, FAIA, LEED AP oakland@vmdo.com

Jim Kovach kovach@vmdo.com

Joe Atkins, AIA, LEED AP BD+C atkins@vmdo.com

Profile for VMDO Architects

Young Harris College Rollins Campus Center + Library  

Young Harris College Rollins Campus Center + Library  

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