Learning commons dedication Sept. 27

Members of the public are invited to join students, faculty and staff for the dedication of Northwestern College’s new Jack & Mary DeWitt Learning Commons. The 4 p.m. ceremony on Friday, Sept. 27, will be followed by tours of the building from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Officially opened Aug. 20 on the first day of classes, the $14 million facility is home to the college’s library, peer tutoring and writing centers, audiovisual department, archives and special collections, a coffee shop and a spacious lounge.

“It’s so much more than a library,” says Jay Wielenga, the college’s vice president for advancement. “Certainly there are books on hand, but it’s peer tutoring, it’s media, it’s places to meet, it’s common space. It’s already become the gathering place on campus for collaborative learning.”

The variety of spaces to learn in the building range from window nooks, study alcoves and café booths to classrooms, lounge areas, and group and individual study rooms.

The construction of DeWitt Learning Commons and a new grand entrance to campus just north of the building has transformed Northwestern’s central quad and is part of an emerging campus master plan for the college.

The three-story, 58,000-square-feet facility was designed by Cannon Moss Brygger Architects of Sioux City, Iowa. Gil Haugen Construction of Sioux Falls, S.D., was the general contractor.