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York Tech Receives Prestigious Architectural Design Award

American Institute of Architects (AIA) Charlotte Recognizes York Tech’s Award-Winning Comporium Center Design.


York Technical College has garnered outstanding recognition for innovative and inspiring building design from the largest chapter of North Carolina’s architectural association. The College is the recipient of a design Honor Award, presented by AIA Charlotte, for renovations and an addition to Building C, now called the Comporium Center.

The Honor Award presented to York Technical College is the highest award a project can receive.  In all, AIA awarded nine projects:  five Honor Awards, three Citation Awards and one Merit Awards. The other award-winning projects include an interior renovation in a Mecklenburg County (North Carolina) building, a local residence, a park in South Carolina, Nexton Folly, a mixed-used development in Summerville, South Carolina, as well as several projects that have not yet been built - one of which is based out of San Francisco, another China  and one local to Charlotte.

AIA Charlotte awards annually outstanding architectural design projects in North Carolina or projects designed by North Carolina architects. The College received the award during the association’s Design and Service Awards Gala held in November.

The 64,000 square-foot facility underwent renovations beginning summer 2014 and were completed January 2016. The renovated building, the oldest on campus, features a new lobby, four classrooms and a technology convergence lab, with a vibrant interior color scheme incorporating some of the College’s brand colors.  It also serves as home to the Okuma Training Institute, where students are trained on the latest in advanced manufacturing. The building is named for Rock Hill-based Comporium Communications, a strategic partner and major supporter of the College.

Renovations were part of the College’s Master Plan, which serves as a guide to meet anticipated enrollment growth and to support student success through campus environment enhancements.

 “York Technical College is honored to receive what is considered the pinnacle architectural design award from AIA Charlotte,” said Greg Rutherford, college president. “The award affirms our commitment to cultivating an engaging and inspiring campus that better meets the needs of students, faculty and staff and the community.”

Architectural firm Watson Tate Savory, with offices in Charlotte, North Carolina and Columbia, South Columbia, designed the building. According to principal architect, Tom Savory, the firm's design was based on the vision and inspiration provided by York Tech. The design, noted Savory, was a "simple, strong concept [that sought to put] state-of-the-art education and training on display at the campus' entry, behind an expansive glazed façade.”

The recognition is the second AIA award for the project, which previously won an Honor Award from AIA Columbia – again the highest honor awarded for a design project.

" As architects, we find it personally gratifying for our clients and their projects to receive recognition from our peers, our toughest critics, who understand deeply what we all, as a team, work hard to accomplish," said Savory.

Nearly 35 projects were submitted and reviewed by a jury of three architects and one landscape architect, all based in Miami, Florida. The projects were judged based on their design and architectural excellence according to the AIA’s 10 Principles of Livable Communities.

To learn more about AIA Charlotte, visit