Mount Wachusett Community College recently held a ribbon cutting for the 4,500 SF Bemis Student Center, a new gathering space for commuter students on campus. "They couldn't believe that this was for them," Dean of Students Jason Zelesky said of a group of returning students who first toured the new space in the fall semester. PCA found ways to simplify the proposed phasing to deliver a quicker, higher-level impact on student life. Enclosing an underutilized open-air patio space adjacent to the student life offices creates a roomy student lounge, as well as a swing space for a future renovation of the dining wing. The retrofit project was completed by PCA's design/build partner, Erland Construction, within a shorter timeframe and a smaller budget, making a large, splashy impact just in time for classes.