Learning Commons provides new study space for students - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Learning Commons provides new study space for students

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ORANGE CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

For most, studying is an important part of succeeding in school.

Now, students at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa have a new place to hit the books.

When it comes to studying, some students do best in silence, while others need to be in a group setting. The new building at Northwestern accommodates both.

"This building brings together key academic units for students on campus: the library, peer learning support, as well as audio visual services, in to one convenient location for students that's all around a coffee shop," Library Services Director, Tim Schlak, said.

Junior Brook Stephens said he studies a lot, and the new building offers him more options than ever before.

"In here, we have lots of individual and group study rooms, as well as there's two classrooms downstairs and a media productions lab. There's just lots of opportunities to expand your study habits," Stephens said.

With all the amenities now under one roof, some students said they even want to hit the books.

"The new learning area has made Northwestern better students because there's so many more people studying here than we had in the old library," Stephens said.

And that's the college's goal. Library staff said they want students to feel comfortable in the new environment.

"We're trying to provide a space for students outside of their dorm room, where they can collaborate, where they can work, they can call this space their own," Schlak said.

Students said the learning commons is a huge step up from the old library which is just across the courtyard.

"I think it was needed because the old one was out-of-date and it didn't seem to fit in with the surrounding buildings," Junior Eric Schafer said.

"I was very excited because the old library definitely needed some updating, and all of last year we saw the building going up, so the anticipation just kept growing and growing," Stephens said.

Library staff said the new building has already paid off. They said it's been as busy, or busier, than the old library used to get just during exam times, and they hope it continues.

The new facility cost $14 million and all of the money came from private donors.

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