What began as a giant hole in the middle of campus at the beginning of the school year has been transformed into the new Learning Commons and is scheduled to open in the fall semester of 2013.
“It was exciting to watch them working on it since it has been warmer weather,” said junior Ashley Northfield.
The building will have three levels, each of which will include library collections. But the library is one of the many departments that will be moving to the new building.
According to Library Director Tim Schlak, the writing center, Learning Resource Center and Information Technologies help desk will all be relocated to the Learning Commons. There will also be a new computer lab, an express book checkout and more classroom space.
The Peer Learning Center will also be making the big move.
“We will have a larger space to work in than we have now,” said Tom Truesdell, director of academic support.
The new building will include more than a dozen individual and group study areas.
“We will have smaller study rooms and several larger group rooms to have tutoring sessions,” Truesdell said. “We can also have rooms reserved on the lower level so we have a lot of versatility. We will be experimenting a little bit on how tutoring works. We will still have some drop-in tutoring, and we will also keep some tutors on hand for when students come in with questions.”
Many students are looking forward to more space, especially for finals.
“I am excited for more study space and for the Peer Learning Center to be in one area,” said freshman Caitlin Hagerty.
Planning the Learning Commons’ interior has called for as much planning as its exterior.
“For the furniture, we put a lot of thought into it,” Schlak said. “Designers came in and gave us options. Then we had students come in and try out the chairs and vote on what they thought was the best.”
There will also be a coffee shop inside the Learning Commons. It will be run by Sodexo, so it will carry largely the same coffee products as the Hub.
“We are very excited (about the Learning Commons),” Schlak said. “It has been a long time coming.”