PHILADELPHIA -- Franklin Field: It’s not just for sports any more.
Education Commons, a new study space for students on the mezzanine of the George A. Weiss Pavilion at the historic stadium, is now open, and the Penn community is invited to check it out from 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 28.
Managed by Penn Libraries, it is a 168-seat, 6,400-square-foot, state-of-the-art study and information facility designed to support teaching and collaborative learning.
“A student who joined me for a tour of the Commons,” said Carton Rogers, vice provost and director of libraries, “was so excited about the new space, we half expected her to request seasons tickets to the collaborative study rooms.
“We’ll stop short of that,” Rogers said, “but students and faculty are certain to find this an inspiring place to work.”
Inspired by Weigle Information Commons in Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, the facility features flexible, technology-rich work environments. A series of curved planes envelop the ceiling, and the monumental arched windows of Franklin Field visually join the interior space with the expanse of lawns and tree-lined walkways that will make up Shoemaker Green, now under construction.
The Commons offers a variety of visual design, publishing, math, geographic, math and statistics, Web development and digital management software as well as a multitude of media players, all supported with full wireless networking and color and black-and-white printing stations.
Within the Commons, students and faculty will have access by reservation to an 18-seat, glass-enclosed seminar room, equipped with a computer and an 80-inch video display. Four small and four large study rooms -- each with a computer and large flat panel LCD screen -- can accommodate groups of as many as 10 and are also reservable. Open seating for as many as 90 is offered in banquettes and in soft furniture, providing flexibility for individual or group use.
Librarians will be on hand to help students with technology and to work with faculty and University staff on program development. Also, the libraries are collaborating with academic-support services across campus to develop workshops and discipline-based programming geared to undergraduate students.
The architect was Joel Sanders of New York.