The new Sharon McGavick Student Center at Clover Park Technical College gets its distinction from both the amalgamation of the college setting and the need to formally distinguish itself on campus. CPTC is a credit-hour technical college that contains academic and vocationally oriented buildings. They can prepare a student for a four year degree, but primarily provide instruction for technical trades. The diversity of students' ages and needs are as significant as the variety of building types. The new Student Center provides distinction by adopting characteristics of the many types of buildings and melding them into a setting that supports student government, retail programs, a café and the largest assembly space in the City of Lakewood. The building brings formal and material typologies together, and more importantly, it provides an invigorating space where students can gather in a way that did not exist on campus. Centralized student services, a location that establishes a new social center for campus, along with good food and views of Mt. Rainier are the distinctive features that bring staff and students together in the facility. Providing a space that contributes to a sense of community was an important goal and a missing ingredient for what is primarily a commuter-oriented campus.