The John and Joan Monninger Center for Learning and Research has come a long way since it broke ground last fall. The center is expected to open after it receives a certificate of occupancy.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Oct. 11 and was attended by the FDU community and guests, including Former Campus Provost Kenneth Greene, several Board of Trustees and the architect of the building, Michael Farewell.
According to Maria Webb, the associate university librarian, Farewell designed the building as a connection to different eras.
“The building was supposed to bridge the past to the future,” she said.
The Orangerie keeps a hint of the old, while the newest, modern addition leads to the future.
The center is not yet open to the public or students, but a few students did manage to walk through the building. Kim Pillinger, a junior, had a chance to see it.
“It was beautiful,” Pillinger said. “It’s just open and modern and the windows are amazing. I think it was so impressive because, as cool as it is that this campus is a historic landmark, we are so used to old style buildings and everything looking old-fashioned. But, this is so updated it barely even felt like our campus. It’s gorgeous.”
Upon completion of the Monninger Center, Webb hopes to put everything in order. After the remainder of the shelves are installed in the new Reference Room, the reference books will be placed in their corresponding locations. Webb also plans to relocate plants that have been placed outside during construction.
These changes, however, will be done in a fashion as to not disturb students or staff while they work.
Webb’s main concern is that students won’t be bothered.
Students are very excited about the Monninger Center.
Initially, many students thought that following the ribbon-cutting ceremony the building was open. Some were so excited that they started to study and do homework within the center, until Public Safety had to ask them to leave.
Among the staff moving into the center will be the Academic Support Center, which is expected to officially relocate by January.
The Academic Support Center “will now be more accessible to upperclassmen who can’t necessarily get into Twombly right now,” Pillinger said.
The Monninger Center has “green” features, such as brand-new restrooms with motion sensored sinks and lights to conserve energy.
Since the center has solar panels on its roof, upon entering, students will be greeted by a television screen that transmits how much solar energy is being used in the building.
The center is filled with blue and gold furniture and its newness is accentuated by the smell of fresh paint and wood.