NVC Cedar Elm STEM Center Receives Design Award

The Cedar Elm STEM Center (CESC) at Northwest Vista College, designed by Overland Partners, won the San Antonio Institute of Architects (AIA) 2022 Educational Place Award last Tuesday evening. The award recognizes design excellence of projects that make a positive impact in San Antonio.

Vice President for College Services, Erin Sherman, leads the planning and execution of college construction projects at NVC. The CESC transformational design partnership with Overland Partners began in 2019, and the majority of construction occurred during the COVID pandemic. The grand opening celebration occurred in May 2022.

Erin said construction during the pandemic was not without challenges but seeing “the joy and excitement of students, faculty and staff learning and collaborating in the building is a testament to the work and perseverance of the project team.” She expressed her gratitude to the team leading this project, “Thank you to the NVC team for the monumental lift completing this building that provides transformational opportunities for our community.”

At 52,550 square feet, the CESC is an innovative, project-based learning hub, encouraging curiosity, creativity, and collaboration among students in fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The two-story elevated lobby and common space, wrapped in dramatic lake and tree canopy views, is the social hub for celebrating STEM on campus through events such as the Sci-Tober science fair, and STEAM Blast events. The CESC is nestled in a natural setting, with abundant mature trees, which were preserved and incorporated into the landscape. A variety of protected outdoor spaces leverage the existing tree canopy and provide space for immersion in nature. Other site amenities include places for outdoor learning, and a dedicated food truck station. 

Adam Bush, Principal for Overland Partners, said “This award is a testament to the project’s quality and positive impact. On behalf of Overland and our entire design team, I want to thank Northwest Vista College for the opportunity to contribute to such a successful and transformational project for our community.”