New Life for Old Spaces

Renovations on Keokuk, West Burlington campuses enhance student experiences

Students started the fall semester in style thanks to two big renovation projects completed over the summer.

Nursing student Megan Doyle loves the new facilities in Emeritus Hall and Bowles Hall in Keokuk.

“We are like kids on Christmas morning,” she says. “Nothing motivates a person more than new shiny toys to play with.”

Trustee Board Members, SCC faculty, and students prepare attended the science and patient simulation lab ribbon cutting.

The $800,000 makeover includes updated science labs, a patient simulation lab, and new classroom amenities, which have improved opportunities for student engagement. Dr. Janet Shepherd, vice president for academic affairs of SCC, said renovating the buildings was an exciting time for SCC and watching student and faculty use the stateof-the-art technology is a treat.

“Keokuk’s updated equipment allows for improved student learning,” she says. “Faculty and students are equally enjoying their new classroom experiences.”

“We have some of the best faculty in the state who worked wonders with limited resources,” Dr. Ash says. “Now with these new facilities and equipment, they’ll have the tools to offer even better instruction. That adds up to a better learning experience for our students.”

Dr. Ash says that while the Building the Dream campus expansion initiative focused on health, science, and technology instruction, planners had the foresight to allow for expansion and enhancement of its arts facilities.

Area high school students used the new science lab during the
Monster Mash high school visit day.

“We received a $250,000 grant from the Murray Foundation to build an art gallery,” explains Dr. Ash. “While it wasn’t part of our first phase of development, it followed as a close second.”

The Harry and Virginia Murray Art Gallery looks over West Burlington’s court yard.

When local art aficionados came together to create the SCC Art Collectors’ Club in 2010 with the intent of securing works by artists from Iowa or with an Iowa connection, they had no idea how fast the collection would grow.

“We walked the campus halls in West Burlington and saw so much potential to display works of art,” recalls art instructor John Bybee. “They were just bare white walls with an occasional bulletin board. It really was a blank canvas.”

A decade into the endeavor, the collection has grown to more than 400 pieces. Meanwhile, donations continue to come in.

The recent opening of the Hall of Sciences freed up vacated classrooms for reuse. College officials and art faculty worked together to relocate an art studio, install a special storage facility, and transform another space into a permanent art gallery.

The Harry and Virginia Murray Art Gallery features a completely remodeled and expanded entryway, storage vaults, a work area, movable lighting, and a modular wall system.

The gallery hosts new shows each month. Shows are free and open to the public.

For more information about the Art Collectors’ Club or to make a donation, contact Val Giannettino at (319) 208-5065 or

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