Today Daytona State College celebrated the opening of the L. Gale Lemerand Student Center, designed by ikon.5 architects.

The three-story, 84,000-square-foot building stands at a gateway site and serves as a portal to the College. Visitors approach the campus through the Lemerand Student Center’s monumental 84-foot-tall bronze entryway that bisects two gently curving wings—one, cantilevered and with a steady fenestration rhythm and the other, a solid volume with an undulating array of cast stone panels—which, together with the entry, present a public face of the College at West International Speedway Boulevard. Daytona State College President Tom Lo Basso remarked, “It’s almost like arms welcoming you to campus.”

The Lemerand Student Center offers students places to study, meet friends, eat, and relax, in a building organized around a three-story commons that serves as the living room for the campus and overlooks Echo Plaza, Daytona State’s principal campus quadrangle. A double-height, 350-seat event center for official functions, community events, and movie nights flank the commons along with conference and study rooms. The second floor accommodates student government offices, student clubs, and career services offices, along with classrooms. A large diamond-shaped skylight at the top of the building spills light onto the third-floor library and writing center. A grand social stair links all floors.

The use of bronze and stone on the building’s principal façade, along with its varied window pattern evoke the coral outcroppings found near this coastal college. “We wanted the design to feel welcoming, exciting, and a place you want to be,” President Lo Basso said. “I said from the beginning, if we design this building right, it will feel like there’s something going on all day, and I think we achieved that.”


Kristen Leone