Dignitaries cut the ribbon at the Central Park Campus Student Center dedication. Pictured are (from left): Central Park Campus Academic Affairs Associate Dean Lee Powell, Senior Vice President for Academic, Workforce and Enrollment Services Dr. Sherry Schumann, Interim Dean of Strategic Initiatives Mark Garcia, College District President Dr. Neil Matkin, Student Government Association President Madeline Keck, Collin Cougar, Vice President of Student and Enrollment Services Dr. Albert Tezeno, Collin College Executive Vice President Dr. Brenda Kihl, Central Park Campus Dean of Academic Affairs Gary Hodge, Central Park Campus Vice President/Provost Dr. Jon Hardesty and Central Park Campus Dean of Student and Enrollment Services Dr. Alicia Huppe.
Photo by Nick Young, Collin College Photorapher

Game on! Or possibly, relax on!

Central Park Campus’ new student center has spaces for just about every type of student downtime. Whether you need time alone to center yourself or want to gather with friends to celebrate a great day in class, the center is designed to meet any need with maximum flexibility for individuals and groups.

Housing the new Student Life offices near the main campus building’s grand entrance, the student center offers a large vending and lounge area, a meetings and presentation area with television access, a recreation area with pool and table tennis, a gaming area, a large outdoor patio with shaded furniture, meeting rooms which can be reserved for collaboration, a slightly larger “informal gatherings area” that does not need to be reserved, individual quiet zones and a technology bar for tech charging and personal recharging.

“It is a hangout space and we are hoping to do a lot more of these,” District President Dr. H. Neil Matkin said at a dedication on Sept. 27. “Research tells us that when students hang around the campus and have spaces like these, you complete in higher numbers, stay with your education long enough to get a certificate, award or degree, and achieve higher grade point averages. It sounds like a good investment to me.”

Also speaking at the event, Student Government Association President Madeline Keck said that she was grateful to the college and everyone who had a hand in getting the student center constructed.

“This center can offer us a break, not only from the stress that can come from classes, but also from work and from life in general,” Keck said. “Students I have talked with have been interested in what the gaming stations will entail. Others have been interested in hosting larger collaborative events here. I know that I am looking forward to not having to battle someone for an outlet to charge my laptop.”

The center was developed in the space formerly housing the campus’ conference center. The district opened a new conference center at Central Park Campus in the fall of 2015.