Seaton Computing Center: Part Two

We’ve all heard of the Extreme Makeover shows – whether it’s beauty, weight, homes etc. But if they had a category for Academic Buildings, the renovation of the Seaton Computing Center (SCC) at The College of DuPage would undoubtedly steal the show.



Wight & Company’s most significant challenge was to transform the bunker-like SCC into a technology-rich showcase while upgrading to a bright, collaborative and welcoming user experience where computers and technology could be celebrated, rather than hidden away behind concrete walls. The addition of glass to the exterior of the building gives a sense of transparency for students and staff who would otherwise spend their days in a very closed environment.

The parking lot entrance of the SCC serves as a popular access point to the rest of campus. Therefore, designers made sure that entering the building would be an event unto itself. This included creating continuity in building materials between the SCC and the other campus buildings, including the Student Resource Center, which is receiving a façade renewal. The new roofline also mimics the Culinary and Hospitality Center, Berg Instructional Center, and Student Resource Center.

The entrance to the SCC will now be located at the southwest corner of the building, improving the classroom layout and the circulation. What had been a series of dead end hallways in a small building is now a circular floor plan in the center of the SCC. While no additional square feet were added, the building has been reconfigured to better serve its purpose.

Color has also been incorporated throughout the building, creating a fun and vibrant space for computer students. Study areas, gaming spaces, and an overall feeling of collaboration come together in the SCC to form an open and exciting space for students and faculty who would otherwise be closed off from the rest of campus. Nearly unrecognizable from its former bunker-like state, the SCC is poised to become an academic leader in 21st century computer technology.

Learn more about the technology incorporated into the SCC in Part Three: Designing a Computing Center for the 21st Century.