President David Alexander, along with the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, students and community, celebrated the ground breaking of the Leah Peterson Learning Commons Friday, March 8.
The Learning Commons will be multifunctional, incorporating NNU’s current two-story John E. Riley Library for a comprehensive 56,635 sq-ft-facility that will house the library’s traditional book and periodical collections, a variety of spaces including group study rooms, a quiet reading room, a study space with secured 24/7 access, and individual and collaborative computer workstations designed to address different learning needs.
The Learning Commons will also accommodate the University’s network data center and academic services units including Academic Advising and Testing, Academic Support Center, E-learning Services, Information Technology, Technology and Media Resources and University Archives.
The construction of the newest facility was made possible by a $6M gift from alumna Leah Peterson and a $4M grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation. Additional funding from the Albertson Foundation is being designated to develop a Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, which will also be housed in the Learning Commons. This center will focus on preparing future teachers for the 21st century, training of current teachers (PK—college professors) and administrators, and equipping NNU faculty to bring technology into their teaching.