The Commons is coming

Kaherice Chicano

Construction has taken over where Keigwin Hall once stood alone, and soon a new Commons will fill the space. This new “Welcoming Center” for campus, which will be the first thing visitors see when they drive up, will have a new Starbucks, but what else will it include, and why is it being built?

President Brock Blomberg says the new Commons “will allow us to better engage with prospective students and their families as the first place they will see when they step foot on our campus. That is also true for all of our visitors. And, the Commons will be a place that connects generations of Ursinus students, whether they’re prospective students scheduling a tour, current students getting together to hang out, or alumni coming back to campus for a visit.”

Currently, the primary social space on campus is Wismer. President Blomberg says “I envision the Commons as a place where even more of those gatherings can take place. I hope that students take advantage of the Commons as not only a place to shop at the bookstore and grab a cup of coffee with friends, but to hang out, study, hold meetings for student organizations, and much more.” 

The Commons will be the new home of the campus bookstore and the admissions center as well. Annette Parker, Vice President for Finance and Administration, said, “Much of Commons will provide open student social/study/event space including a lot of student social space near the café, on the front patio, on the second floor and on the incredible terrace overlooking the main lawn.” There will also be a performance/hangout space on the second floor for small acoustical performances. 

As for Starbucks, students will be able to order from a menu of hot and cold Starbucks beverages, along with a “more extensive food menu than one would normally find at a standalone Starbucks,” said Parker. Students meal plans will be available to use in this space, and in a few months the menu will be released. 

The admissions office and bookstore will officially relocate to the Commons and the café will be open in early January. A grand opening will be held in the spring for all students, and the space is expected to be fully complete in April 2020 for everyone to enjoy.