The MCTC News Blog

Vote Now for This Year’s Greening Awards!

Posted on: August 14th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

The Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District is rewarding sustainable design and attention to the environment again!

Click here to vote now for this year’s Annual Greening and Public Realm Awards. The recent redesign of the MCTC outdoor plaza created a lush backyard for the campus that allows Loring Park’s presence to be felt here at the College. MCTC received Greening awards in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Want to learn more about the plaza redesign, the sustainable design and the flora that are carefully tended? Come take a tour of the outdoor plaza on Opening Day, Wednesday, Aug. 19 at noon. All MCTC students, faculty, staff and members of the community are invited to learn more about the plaza redesign, campus and city sustainability efforts and plants at the tour. Questions are welcome! The tour will be rescheduled in the case of inclement weather.

Again, to vote in this year’s Annual Greening and Public Realm Awards, click here or visit

Sustainability Efforts to be Highlighted on MCTC Plaza Tour

Posted on: August 13th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

IMG_1925-smAnyone who visited the Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) outdoor plaza more than three years ago might not recognize it today.

Following three years of extensive development and redesign aimed at upgrading facilities, mitigating stormwater runoff, beautifying the campus and connecting the College aesthetically to its Loring Park, Walker Art Center and Downtown Minneapolis neighbors, the MCTC plaza reopened in 2013 as a lush, inviting canvas of natural plants, grasses and flowers where once acres of concrete sprawled.

The redesign won accolades from the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District, which has awarded Greening Awards to the college for the redesign and its sustainable rain gardens in 2012, 2013 and 2014. (Vote now for this year’s Greening Awards!)

“This redesign not only allowed for the completion of deferred maintenance on campus, it also helped us manage stormwater runoff and brought Loring Park up into campus,” said MCTC Director of Facilities Roger Broz. “The College is now gardening on a municipal level.”

In addition, the impeccable upkeep devoted to this lush landscape by MCTC Gardener and Grounskeeper Randy Rau caught the attention of local experts. Randy’s expertise was tapped by the Lynnhurst Garden Club for a tour of the native plants, and he led 16 active gardeners through the grounds this week, connecting the current flora with sustainability and aesthetic efforts behind the redesign.

Randy will repeat his tour of the MCTC outdoor plaza on Wednesday, Aug. 19 at noon. All MCTC students, faculty, staff and members of the community are invited to learn more about the plaza redesign, campus and city sustainability efforts and plants at the tour. Questions are welcome! The tour will be rescheduled in the case of inclement weather.

Construction Begins on Outdoor Art Installation

Posted on: July 28th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

Construction begins on the installation, July 28, 2015.

MCTC has begun construction of an artistic endeavor to further beautify the campus and visually connect the Loring Park community to Downtown Minneapolis.

The project, Zig Zag, is a collaboration between local architectural firm Aventur LLC and São Paulo-based Estudio Campana. Workforce development funding awarded to MCTC in 2012 included funds for art procurement, and following a search process during the spring of 2014 funds were awarded to the inter-continental collaboration.

The installment, an outdoor trellis structure standing 20’ wide and 44’ long, will create a grand, colorful entrance to the College’s campus and create a community space for social gathering. The canopy, stretching from the end of Harmon Pl. under the Helland skyway, will consist of a series of polyester webbed strands—similar to seat belts—criss-crossed over each other to create a zig-zag pattern over the walkway.

This project will be the first permanent, outdoor installation in the U.S. of the creative work of internationally known Brazilian artists Humberto and Fernando Campana. The Campana brothers’ work is exhibited around the world, including a display of their iconic chairs in the permanent design collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the noted redesign and renaming of Café Campana at the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, a retrospective exhibition of their work at the Vitra Museum of design in Germany and a temporary outdoor sculptural installation at the Victoria Albert Museum in London.


A model of the Zig Zag installation demonstrates the pattern, colors and scale.

Funds from the 2012 workforce improvement project also created new classroom space at the College for several career and technical programs, as well as a complete sustainable redesign of the outdoor plaza. The College is proud to be a part of a dynamic, urban Minneapolis community.

MCTC Receives “Merit Award” for Fine Arts Plaza

Posted on: May 15th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

MCTC Fine Arts PlazaThis spring, the Minnesota chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA-MN) awarded Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) the Merit Award for its Fine Arts Plaza. This award recognizes excellence in design, attention to detail, emphasis on sustainability and other factors. MCTC celebrated the completion of its plaza overhaul last year with a kickoff celebration among students, faculty, staff, neighbors and community partners. Click here for an album of before-and-after photographs of the outdoor plaza.

“MCTC is committed to storm water management and the greening of the campus,” said MCTC Director of Facilities Roger Broz. “Both benefit the MCTC campus community and City of Minneapolis. It is great to be recognized for our efforts.”

The College has made efforts to institute sustainable practices throughout its campus. MCTC was awarded the Downtown Improvement District Greening Award in 2012 and 2013 for its commitment to urban green spaces. The recent outdoor plaza redesign incorporated multiple rain gardens in order to address stormwater runoff. Members of the College Urban Farm Collective club advocated for and are now planting an urban garden in a formerly unused corner lot of the College campus.

MCTC has committed to actively incorporate sustainability and emissions reduction goals into every aspect of the institution. The College signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in December 2007, and currently maintains a Climate Action Plan outlining goals for further emissions reduction, community collaboration and economic investment in sustainable suppliers.

Photo: The MCTC Fine Arts Plaza. Photo credit: Dana Wheelock.

New Kitchen, Dining Room and Outdoor Plaza are Open; Construction Begins on Helland Center

Posted on: October 19th, 2010 by insidemctc No Comments

This fall, MCTC completed several construction projects across campus, including a remodeled kitchen and new dining room for its Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management programs and a redesigned outdoor plaza that connects the campus to Loring Park. The College is beginning construction on its student center this fall.

MCTC students, staff, faculty and neighbors can now enjoy the beautiful new outdoor plaza, which promotes sustainability with its landscape design featuring native plants and a storm water retention system.

MCTC Outdoor Plaza

MCTC's new outdoor plaza. Photo by Deta Halilovic.