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Tuscarawas News Detail

Kent State Tuscarawas Library Renovation

Posted Feb. 24, 2014

Students were pleasantly surprised when they stepped in to the newly renovated Kent State University at Tuscarawas library at the beginning of Fall Semester 2013. After four months of renovation, the library in Founders Hall re-opened in August with a new name and a new fresh contemporary style. The library was unveiled at the beginning of the 2013-14 academic year as the Academic Learning Commons (ALC).

"The renovation has transformed our space from a traditional library into a modern Academic Learning Commons, inviting students to learn, collaborate and create in ways that were not possible before the renovation," said Cherie Bronkar, library director. "There is a sense of pride emanating from the students as they come in and see that the design was carried out with their academic needs as priority."

While still offering traditional library services and quiet study spaces, the 13,777-square-foot Academic Learning Commons now also houses four glass enclosed offices and study rooms, the student services office, campus writing center, three collaboration rooms, a conference room and a copy center. The blue and gold contemporary design features comfortable tech-friendly furniture - booths, rectangular high-top table and chair sets, club chairs and sectionals - to provide conducive learning environments.

Accented with warm walnut finishes, the sleek, circular information desk, gives students access to both circulation and reference assistance. The enclosed collaboration rooms offer meeting spaces for groups of students to work together. There are 23 computers, including an ADA compliant workstation.

"Quiet study areas are still a very important part of the Academic Learning Commons," added Bronkar. "They are separate from the more active spaces, and offer comfortable seating and tables that are wired so that students can sit quietly and study with access to electronic devices. Wireless Internet is also available in the ALC, as well as across the campus."

"The library was redesigned with the students in mind," commented Bronkar. "When entering the library for the first time, students notice the comfortable furniture first. They love the relaxing couches and sectionals, and the privacy of the booths. Everything has a wow factor - it was a huge change for the students. Many students said they just couldn't believe this was their library." 

The Kent State Tuscarawas Academic Learning Commons is a Federal Deposit Library and is open to the community. The Kent-Tusc Archives is also located in the space but was not involved in the renovation.

Stitle Construction of Salem and BDHP of Cincinnati were the contractors for the $495,085 project, supported by the campus and State of Ohio capital funds.