HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Construction fences went up around the perimeter of the Holyoke Community College Campus Center before the start of the fall semester, and demolition on the interior and exterior surfaces is now underway.

According to a press release from the college, the Campus Center is set to undergo a two-year, $43.5 million renovation which will focus on making the building watertight, as well as adding an enclosed, two-story atrium off the HCC courtyard, and enclosing exterior walkways on the second floor to add a total of 9,000 square feet to the building.

Bill Fogarty, HCC’s Vice President of Administration and Finance, said that they “want to improve the operation of the building and bring together programs and departments that complement each other to make the Campus Center a real hub of student engagement.”

Next door, construction has also started on a new Center for Life Sciences. The $4.5 million project, which is funded in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, involves the creation of two state-of-the-art labs, as well as lab prep areas, storage, and classroom space.

The Center for Life Sciences is expected to be open by summer 2018 and ready for the fall 2018 semester.

The Campus Center is expected to reopen for the fall 2019 semester.