By Mitch Holt, Opinion Editor
The delayed construction of the student commons area in Brown Library will begin shortly after the beginning of the semester.
Construction was supposed to begin and be finished by the end of the summer, but financial matters kept contractors from even beginning the process, said Kitty Wasemiller, Interior Design Program director in the Department of Art and Design.
“We have been waiting on plans to be formalized and final financial bids to be taken,” Wasemiller said.
The desired result is an area where students can work easily in groups in a relaxed, technologically advanced setting. The area will include a coffee shop, the help desk, group educational accommodations, the Writing Center and maybe the Team 55 office.
“All of these and more will be on the main floor of the Brown Library,” Wasemiller said. “The main floor will be rearranged and the current check-out desk has been moved to the library atrium on the Campus Court side of the library while renovations are taking place.”
This new addition is intended to encourage new styles of learning, Wasemiller said.
“Recently, student surveys have shown that individuals learn better in a group setting. Through this commons area, we are hoping to reinforce this way of learning by providing a comfortable, relaxing commons area that has exceptional technology and accommodations.”
Mark Tucker, Dean of Library and Information Resources, said this renovation reflects the changes that are taking place in the way professors teach and students learn.
“If students learn better in groups, we are glad to provide them with the means to meet in groups in a technologically intensive environment,” Tucker said.
Tucker also said that student library attendance has been decreasing in the past years and this commons area will be an effective way to spark a new interest in the Library.
“Over the last six to eight years, students are less likely than they used to come into the building,” Tucker said. “We plan to bring in more students because we hope to help and encourage them to complete their academic work.”