Hanson Technology Center

Project Details


Lake Michigan College


Benton Harbor, MI


49,376 square feet





With its innovative design, open and flexible classrooms, and state-of-the-art labs, the Hanson Technology Center is leading the way in advanced manufacturing education and skilled-trades training. The high-tech learning environment is home to a host of courses including fabrication, welding, electronics and machine tool. The facility also houses one of the few large-scale interactive Simulation Labs in the country.

Innovation, transparency and flexibility were key design elements of the facility. In its unique shape, the building’s glass and metal façade simultaneously leans into the future while reaching outward in a signal of welcome. Floor to ceiling windows provide clear views between classrooms, lab areas and common spaces. The flexible design of these spaces support evolving educational pedagogy, technological advances, and changing needs in advanced manufacturing. Students will find collaboration areas throughout the facility that inspire teamwork, support diversity of thought and encourage innovation.

The center is equipped for efficiency, both environmentally and financially. Heating and cooling needs are met through use of a natural geothermal loop that brings water up from the ground to be heated or cooled, depending on weather conditions. Additionally, large exterior windows provide natural lighting that cuts down on electricity needs.

Additional features of the facility include:

  • Cutting edge Simulation Lab including a 16-foot interactive touch-screen display
  • Four high-bay state-of-the-art labs including: fabrication, advanced manufacturing, and welding.
  • The labs feature overhead utility grid infrastructure to support flexible equipment locations
  • Community space with visual connection to classrooms and labs
  • Five highly flexible classrooms with multiple room orientations

The Hanson Technology Center at Lake Michigan College defines the future of advanced manufacturing education and skilled-trades training. By providing a steady stream of qualified, ready-to-work employees, the new facility will be critical to the success of advanced manufacturing companies in the region and across the country.

Lake Michigan College’s Hanson Technology Center has been awarded the Collegiate Citation from American School & University’s 2019 Educational Interiors Showcase. The Collegiate Citation is the top higher-education honor and one of the four main awards given out each year. Read the full Educational Interiors Showcase by clicking here.

“With clean lines, good use of color, functionality, good use of natural lighting and few bold spaces, this project shows what a modern machine shop can look like. The open, daylighted individual learning spaces are the heart of this building and definitely put students first ” -Jury Comments