Next Year’s Learning Commons


For most Latin students, we know that change to the building is coming in the upcoming school year, but the changes seem unclear. The biggest and most important change coming next year is the remodeling of the library and cafeteria.
To discuss the planning and design of next year’s new library, I sat down with our librarian Ms. Metzler. We discussed problems with the current setup of the cafeteria and library. She shared that the two issues the school wants to address are the time it takes to get food in the cafeteria and the students need for spaces to socialize versus space to study and focus.
The main purpose of the learning commons is to give students access to the environments in which they can best learn. So, the school has decided to break down the wall in between the library and cafeteria, and almost combine the two. Where people eat lunch will now also be the part of the library where volume level can be a normal talking voice.
The reason why the school decided to make this change was because of the way kids use the library today. Most kids in the library talk while doing their work anyway, so the school decided it would make more sense to combine the two.
Now, you might be thinking, “what if I really need quiet space in the library to do my work?” In the upper part of the library, there will be quiet rooms along with normal quiet tables. The upper level and the lower level of the learning commons will be separated by a glass soundproof wall.
Because of this, there is a very good chance that the seating culture in the learning commons will not be structured by age group, but rather by how loud you want the noise level to be. Along with the change in volume level in the library, there will also be several rooms added into the learning commons, such as Learning Resources, Counseling, and the Writing Lab. The central commons mainspace (the talking area in red on the diagram) will hold 175 seats, meant for both eating and studying. This change will create one large hub for all students to socialize in. Where we get our food in the cafeteria will remain similar. The door to get into the cafeteria will remain in the same place, but the cafeteria lines will be streamlined, and students shouldn’t have to spend more than 10 minutes getting their food. There will also be a kiosk-like cafe added near the new fourth-floor bridge.
The new learning commons will help promote deep learning and replace a library and cafeteria structure that are both over fifty years old. The change will modernize Latin and help students for years to come.