New dorm, academic building to open for fall

Cyrus Nuval
Staff Writer

Two new facilities on campus will open for fall semester: West Grace Street North dorm and the Academic Learning Commons.

West Grace Street North will house The Globe, a living learning program, according to Brian Ohlinger, the associate vice president of VCU Facilities Management.

The Academic Learning Commons will have lecture halls that seat as many as 400 students. Photos by Anna Shcherbakova

The Academic Learning Commons will have lecture halls that seat as many as 400 students.
Photos by Anna Shcherbakova

“Similar to West Grace Street Student Housing-South that opened last year with a program emphasis on Community Engagement, the new building will be of interest to students who are majoring in, or have an interest in, world issues,” he said.

Despite the residence hall opening at the start of the fall semester, the program itself will not start until the spring semester, according to Leslie Bozeman, assistant director for global engagement.

According to Ohlinger, the new West Grace Street Student Housing-North building is fully booked with 388 students housed in two- or four-bedroom apartments.

The four-story Academic Learning Commons will be a general purpose academic building with classrooms and offices. The lecture halls will seat 80 to 400 students, Ohlinger said.

The School of Social Work will move to the building’s third floor from the Raleigh Building on West Franklin Street, its home since 1968. The Writing Center will move from Hibbs Hall to the fourth floor and the Center for Teaching Excellence will also be on the fourth floor, according to Ohlinger.

West Grace Street North will house students who show an interest in world issues. Photos by Anna Shcherbakova

West Grace Street North will house students who show an interest in world issues.
Photos by Anna Shcherbakova

According to James Hinterlong, dean of the School of Social Work, the new location will greatly benefit the staff and students of the School of Social Work and expand its space by more than 50 percent.

The school will open a new Student Success Center in the space to allow for collaborative research for its students, Hinterlong said.

Joseph Marolla, the executive director of the Center for Teaching Excellence, said the entire CTE will also be moving to the Academic Learning Commons. According to Marolla, the main purpose of the move is due to the primary function of the building itself.

“It made sense to locate the CTE there as well since they are charged with helping faculty increase and improve student learning,” Marola said.

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