A Look Inside the Learning Commons

First Floor Plans

Designed to meet visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles, the Learning Commons redesign will center on instructor-to-student engagement, peer-to-peer learning opportunities, student success, metaliteracy, community, and multiple teaching modes.

Along with student-centric first floor, a renovation to the Learning Commons’ Special Collections will allow Saint Mary to grow its alreadyimpressive collections, preserve its artifacts using the highest standards, and digitize rare materials for both our campus and local community
to enjoy. The renovation will include a state-of-the-art repository, a digitization center, research room, and gallery space to help better foster student learning, facilitate community outreach opportunities, and curate scholarship through engaging experiences with primary sources found within the Bernard H. Hall Abraham Lincoln Collection and the Sir John and Mary Craig’s Scripture Collection.

The lower level of the Commons will also be excavated to make space for a modern conference and meeting center—a longtime need for our evergrowing campus. Currently, no space on our 200-acre campus can easily transform to hold our university community comfortably for an event, nor can USM host educational conferences and meetings with more than 40 attendees.

This is the largest capital project the library has ever seen ($3.8 million), and while transformation and reconstruction sit at the heart of these plans, this is really about serving the needs of our students today, tomorrow, and for generations to come. When we ask ourselves, “Who do we want our learners to become?”

  • Agents for their continued learning.
  • Transdisciplinarians.
  • Creative thinkers.
  • Effective communicators.
  • Well-trained experimentalists.
  • Digitally literate citizens.
  • Tomorrow’s leaders.

These answers should guide and inspire our growth and change as a university—and while no school is ever finished, building the Keleher Learning Commons will establish Saint Mary as a center of academic excellence for decades to come.

A rich past is worth nothing without an investment in the future.

USM-ThinkTank copy

Artist Render

Think Tanks will serve as the hub of the Learning Commons – the premier place to meet, talk, and study.


Building the Campus for Tomorrow

To invest in the Learning Commons transformation, contact Lisa Runnels-Nevins, development officer, at 913-758-6124 or Lisa.Runnels-Nevins@stmary.edu.

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