Cleveland State University sought to create a link between the university and its downtown surroundings by building a new student center. Meant to serve as the focus of community life for students, it would house the main food service kitchen, retail and campus dining, pub, university bookstore, atrium spaces, ballroom, and new offices for Student Life and other student organizations. Because of its location on the main downtown commercial thoroughfare, the student center also needed to cater to pedestrians who could use the building to connect to the main campus plaza, Euclid Avenue, and adjacent classroom buildings to the east and west.
PRIME AE designed the student center to replace an outdated 1970s concrete structure, applying an aesthetic approach to attract and invite students, faculty, and downtown visitors. The building design and construction, along with the process of demolishing the existing building, achieved LEED Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council along with Excellence Design Award from the American Institute of Architects’ Akron Chapter. PRIME AE’s work on the project supported the university’s goal of uniting the university and the city in a way that improved the quality of life for both students and Cleveland residents.