Staff Writer

The highly anticipated Monninger Center, which was originally set to open in September, will hold its ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 11 at noon after a delay in construction.

The John and Joan Monninger Center for Learning and Research held its groundbreaking ceremony on May 31, 2011.

Construction was supposed to begin that summer, but was postponed until the fall semester. Initial work began on Oct. 20, 2011.

The Monningers donated $1 million for the center. John Monninger graduated in 1965 from FDU.

The construction site has an installed webcam that allows visitors and students to watch every step of the process. The webcam is accessible through the FDU website.

Maria Webb, director of public services for the library, sees the opening of the Monninger Center as “the light at the end of the tunnel.” The center’s purpose is to allow both students and faculty to work together.

The center is ideally located right outside of the Student Center. The space will hold multiple rooms ranging from rooms that can support small study groups to an auditorium that can seat up to 100 students. There will be a coffee cart that will serve Starbucks coffee.

The entire center will have wireless access and all chairs in the center will have electrical outlets so that the use of extension cords will be eliminated. It also will have open space, as well as high efficiency heating and air-conditioning units.

The Monninger Center will house the Academic Support Center and the College Writing Program, as well as faculty offices and a computer lab.

The Orangerie, part of the original estate, will be left intact; however, it has experienced minor changes.

The outside bricks of the Orangerie were cleaned up for a more appealing look. It also received a new floor, lighting and furniture.

There will be brand-new restrooms next to the Orangerie and the old staff offices have been converted into space for vending machines. The space will also be used by Gourmet Dining Services during events held in the periodical room.

The old part of the library has gotten all new windows. Part of the library and the periodical room also have received a new coat of paint.

The reference rooms and the staff offices will also get new furniture.

According to the university’s website, the center has room for an art gallery and exhibit space.

Having the library under construction for the past year has had an impact on students. Some are feeling the downside when it comes to finding a quiet place to study.

“It’s inconvenient because the library is smaller, so there are too many students in this small space. I miss the quiet space of the Orangerie,” said student Jennifer Curtin.

Webb is hopeful that students will really benefit from this building.

“It will be fabulous when it’s finished,” she said, in light of all the effort and time being allotted to the center’s construction.

Webb understands that students are frustrated but right now it’s all a countdown to getting a proper entrance and a door to the library.

If students are looking for places to sit, there is seating upstairs in the periodical department. Quiet spots also can be found along the aisles of books. Already several students have been seen in the quiet areas with their heads buried in their work.

For now, all students can do is wait until Oct. 11.

The ribbon cutting ceremony can be found on the FDU website’s events calendar, where any updates will be posted.

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