President Suzanne K. Mellon, PhD, Announces University Commons Project
During Her Inauguration
Pittsburgh, Pa. –
Today, during her inauguration as the tenth president of Carlow University,
Suzanne K. Mellon, PhD, announced the institution’s plans for the first major
construction project on campus in more than a decade.
“Recently, Carlow has raised more money than at any other
period of time in its history,” said Mellon.
“Funding is nearly complete for the signature project of this campaign:
The University Commons.”The University Commons project
involves the complete renovation of the 82,500 square foot Grace Library
Building on the Oakland campus, turning it into the center of campus life and
learning at Carlow University. Construction is scheduled to start in August
2014 and completed prior to the start of classes in fall 2015. During
construction, all services currently housed in the building will be
relocated—temporarily for some services, and permanently for others.
The University Commons will integrate an
array of faculty and student services that support student and faculty learning
and collaboration. Amenities will include three computer labs, a café, a
state-of-the-art home for the Center for Digital Learning and Innovation, study
spaces, and informal, shared workspaces for students.
Mellon, the University Commons will play a vital role in educating students,
combining elements of teaching, learning, research, health and wellness,
collaboration, and technological support. “At Carlow University, it is our
commitment to our students that we will engage with them in transforming lives
and transforming our world. The University Commons will be a transformation in
the learning environment for our students. It will promote optimal student
learning and the digital learning environment to deliver the 21st
century learning for our students to succeed in today’s world. It will also
feature innovative collaborative centers for student learning and academic
The University has decided to renovate and
repurpose the Grace Library space, rather than construct a new building on the
site because it is an effective and cost-efficient way to meet the need for a
changing learning environment. By transforming an older space to suit modern
needs, the University is also being mindful of issues of sustainability and conservation.
When completed, University Commons will
include space for:
Student Government and Campus Activities Board
Office of Student Affairs
Library, individual and group study areas, classrooms
Mercy Center (Campus Ministry, Mercy Center for Service)
Experiential Learning (Global Learning, Career Development)
Rita M. McGinley Center for Student Success (tutoring and academic support)
Center for Digital Learning and Innovation (digital teaching support for faculty)
Hopkins Communications Lab (digital learning support for students)
Social Life and Public Access:
As part of a comprehensive campaign, Carlow
has raised $23.1 million in firm commitments towards a goal of $30
million. The cost of the University
Commons project is estimated to be approximately $15.7 million, and about $1
million of that total is yet to be raised.
Carlow has hired three premiere Pittsburgh
firms to lead the renovation of University Commons. The architect for the project is Maclachlan,
Cornelius, and Filoni. The construction
manager is Massaro Corp., and Kolano Design will be developing the signage and
addressing complicated way finding challenges.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Carlow University was founded by the Sisters of Mercy
in 1929. Offering both undergraduate and graduate programs, Carlow University
is a comprehensive master's institution dedicated to learner-centered education
at the collegiate levels and at the elementary school level in the Campus
School of Carlow University.