As the information revolution continues to unfold, a sea change is occurring in the research methods employed by students and faculty on the college campus of the 21st century.
“Nowhere is the evolving landscape of intellectual discovery more evident than in the nature and delivery of library services,” said William Jewell College president Dr. David Sallee. “The way scholars engage one another and the world around them is undergoing a fundamental paradigm shift. A great liberal arts college must be responsive to the way the world and its students are changing.”
A plan for Jewell’s future, adopted by the Board of Trustees in 2007, identified initiatives in which the College should invest to remain an essential, vibrant institution of higher learning. This comprehensive strategic plan focuses on providing transformational experiences, unique opportunities and vital resources for students in the 21st century.
“Through that planning process, a signature building project emerged because it held the potential to drive many of the outcomes called for in the plan,” Dr. Sallee said.
With two leadership gifts secured totaling $7 million, the College is now seeking additional partners to move the project forward. As funding allows, Jewell will begin the construction of a new Library and Learning Commons on the site where Greene Hall currently stands. This project will allow Jewell to reshape the heart of campus, make the best use of current facilities and embrace the idea of a more energy-efficient campus and infrastructure.
A Front Door to a
New Pedestrian Campus
Consistent with the architectural identity of the 160–year-old hilltop campus, the architect’s working design utilizes exterior elements such as Jewell’s traditional red brick, columns, ornamentation and vertical presence to create the west-facing façade of the new facility. “This Library and Learning Commons is designed to bring a host of supplemental benefits supporting the College’s long range campus master plan: greater energy efficiency, new vehicle traffic patterns, additional green spaces and outdoor plazas, and the opportunity to make the heart of campus fully pedestrian,” said Dennis Strait, architect at Gould Evans.
The building’s east façade, facing Greene Stadium and the College entrance, is marked by a prominent archway through which visitors will find a new College Welcome Center creating an impressive new “front door” to the campus for prospective students and community guests.
A new pedestrian plaza to the north of the facility is designed to draw the Pillsbury Music Center and Brown Hall into the Quad, and will make the entire heart of the campus pedestrian-friendly. The view of the Gano clock tower will be highlighted in the approach to the Welcome Center in the Library and Learning Commons from the east. The addition of new stairways, landscaping and a plaza on the eastern hillside approach to Jewell Hall will be developed to showcase the College’s most historically significant building.
Architect’s rendering of proposed new facility
and pedestrian plaza
Inside the New Facility
This state-of-the art, 26,000-square-foot facility is designed with a commitment to sustainability principles and sensitivity to best practices in green building design.
“The vision is to create spaces that respond to student needs for both personal and collaborative study space in an environment rich with information technology,” Strait said. A key design principle is providing a flexible technology infrastructure that can evolve as necessary. The College plans to provide daily 20-hour access to the top two floors. At this time, the proposed floor plan includes the following:
- The lower level, with a striking entrance facing the stadium, will house the College Welcome Center, a presentation room for student and faculty use, a media-rich classroom theater and the College’s new Center for Justice and Sustainability.
- The intermediate level hosts a café with adjacent outdoor seating offering a convenient north access for students entering from the residence halls. Also on this level, students will find group study rooms, a media classroom, commons area and a production studio with multimedia resources and rooms for lectures and conferences.
- Features of the Quad level include a large open commons for study and research, offices for the Center for Applied Critical Thought and Inquiry, general study rooms, a prestigious scholars’ room and a lounge designated for students in the Oxbridge Honors Program to study and collaborate.
A Home for Centers of Excellence
Housed in the new Library and Learning Commons will be two emerging centers of excellence that will drive student and faculty collaboration, creativity and exposure to thinking around the world’s most challenging issues:
The Center for Justice and Sustainability
Believing that justice and sustainability issues must be addressed by a well-educated and motivated populace, the College has established the Center for Justice and Sustainability to develop in its students the commitment, competence and confidence to address significant issues in human communities and in societal, economic and ecological systems. The Center for Justice and Sustainability is at the heart of the College’s mission to cultivate leadership, service and spiritual growth. The construction of the Library and Learning Commons, the home for the Center, will reflect Jewell’s broader commitment to global sustainability.
The Center for Applied Critical Thought and Inquiry
This Center takes its name from the core curriculum it supports. It holds the potential to transform campus culture through a focused commitment to creative, entrepreneurial thinking and experiential learning. The Center will help students shape the experiential component of their core curriculum and offer mentoring related to internship placement and project development.
A New Role for the Charles F. Curry Building
The Charles F. Curry building, home of library services at William Jewell since 1965, will continue to play a central role in the research and learning process on campus. Plans call for the renovated structure to support the new dual-facility Library and Learning Commons, housing a majority of the Charles F. Curry book collection. The building will also accommodate critical student service functions such as the business, financial aid, registrar, career services and counseling offices. The Office of the President, the Office of the Academic Dean and the Office of Admission will ultimately move to this renovated space.
Building the New Library and Learning Commons
William Jewell College has received a pledge of $6 million from the Hall Family Foundation and a pledge of $1 million from the William T. Kemper Foundation toward the creation of the new Library and Learning Commons. The College is seeking the requisite philanthropic contributions to proceed with the plan to reshape the heart of campus and to continue providing Jewell students with a transformational education as envisioned in its strategic plan.
“The Kemper Foundation is pleased to be a part of William Jewell’s efforts to address the needs of research and scholarship,” said Michael Fields, Executive Director of the William T. Kemper Foundation. “The information revolution has expanded the methodology of academic research. We are pleased to see that William Jewell, like other top colleges in the nation, is adjusting to meet the demands of the future.”
|Public Learning Commons
|Group Study Rooms
||“The Kemper Foundation is pleased to be a
part of William Jewell’s efforts to address the
needs of research and scholarship,” said
Michael Fields, Executive Director of the
William T. Kemper Foundation. “The
information revolution has expanded the
methodology of academic research. We are
pleased to see that William Jewell, like other
top colleges in the nation, is adjusting to
meet the demands of the future.”
For more information, contact Chad Jolly, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (816) 415-7567.