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New on-campus student learning commons planned for Fall 2017

New on-campus student learning commons planned for Fall 2017

Augustana administration seeking input on repurposing of second-floor library space

The office space above the library, currently occupied primarily by sessional instructors, is set to be transformed over the coming months into a “student learning commons.”

The space is to be a “one stop student service centre” according to Dean Allen Berger during the announcement of the new space following the opening of the Alver and Arlene Person Pedway on March 23.

This new space will be a “purposeful, task oriented space that has a limited time access,” according to Executive Director of Student Life Randal Nickel. Nickel added that “it’s not just a place to come for a cup of coffee for eight hours or study individually.”

The Augustana Students’ Association (ASA) sees this as a great directive from administration. “The ASA is optimistic about the positive change that the Learning Commons will have on this campus,” said ASA President and President-elect Ben Curry.

Cost estimates for the project have not been completed yet as feedback collection is ongoing. Nickel said administration is also getting feedback that highlights, “how students envision the commons from being different from other spaces.”

The vision for the physical space is to create a learning commons that includes “a flexibility and proposing function,” according to Nickel. “As you take a look at the furniture and ideas or concepts that are out there, envision a place where it can be adaptable and re-imagined on a daily basis.”

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Nickel and Berger described the space as somewhere students will be able to come to work with classmates or access services such as counsellors or a chaplain. “It also has a wellness element to that and provides that opportunity for students and others to access those kind of supports,” said Nickel.

Nickel also added that access will be provided to the classrooms up on the second level through the currently locked door at the top of the library stairs.

Students are invited to contact Randal Nickel at rnickel@ualberta.ca to offer suggestions for the new space.

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The following are some of the space uses Augustana administrators have in mind for the learnings commons:

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