Alvernia University officially opened its new Campus Commons building on main campus this week. Before cutting the ceremonial ribbon, student Taylor Eichelberger, president of the Student Government Association, told onlookers that the first time she walked into the Commons, she was overwhelmed. “I have noticed something new every time I’ve been in the building,“ Eichelberger said.
The highly anticipated Campus Commons facility is home to a two-story fitness center, dance and aerobics studio, computer lab, and campus living room that can accommodate more than 100 students for leisure activities, study and programming. “Students were involved in the building’s development throughout the entire planning and design process,” said Doug Smith, vice president of finance and administration at Alvernia.
“Everywhere I look, I see small touches that really make the building feel like Alvernia,” said senior communication major Jennifer Kaucher. The warm indoor/outdoor fireplace in the living room and the Franciscan Tau cross in the stairwell ceiling are details that you just won’t find anywhere else.
Student services, student leadership, campus ministry and student activities are now available under one roof, creating an important nexus for students traveling from the residential village to the Physical Education Center, academic buildings, the library and the dining hall. “The opportunities this new facility will provide for our students are so exciting,” said Abby Swatchick, assistant dean of students and director of student activities. “New space for clubs and organizations, the fitness center, and the living room will enhance the experiences that students can have together.”
President Flynn was heartened by a generous investment from the university's Student Government Association and an unprecedented challenge to parents by board member Tom Martell and his wife Marcia. "In addition to their own gift, the Martells offered to match up to $50,000 in additional gifts to support the Campus Commons," said Flynn.
The new state-of-the-art building is an important addition to Alvernia’s campus for both those students who are choosing to live on campus and as a gathering place for our commuting students. Ground was broken in May after demolition of the former Center for Student Life building.
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