Facilities and Service Management

Learning Commons

Follow along with one of the most transformative building projects to come to Alma College in years — a complete modernization of the existing library into a state-of-the-art Learning Commons.

Watch the construction live stream! 

Construction updates

April 2022

The month of April was a milestone in the Learning Commons project as demolition of the Stacks began in earnest. The transformative vision of the Learning Commons is starting to come into focus.

Students, faculty and staff could be seen throughout the month of April taking a momentary pause on their route between the Hood Building and Swanson Academic Center to watch the demolition of the Stacks. Demolition of this exterior area, with classes still in session, posed a potential challenge, as it meant a lot of pedestrians would be passing through. However, our main construction contractor, Granger Construction, went about this process in a very careful way, using a pulverize attachment on an excavator to knock debris straight down in smaller, crushed segments — instead of using something dramatic like a wrecking ball. Demolition will be complete in early May.

In place of the Stacks, there will be additional windows and an entrance from the south side of the building, adding much needed light and accessibility. From the new south entrance, you will be able to walk directly through the Learning Commons to the north side where Clack Art Center is located.

What comes after demolition? Contractors have begun pouring concrete for footings at the northeast corner of the building (think: McIntyre Mall entrance) where a new, three-story glass entrance will be built. There will also be a new amphitheater just north of the library and a bridge leading to the front entrance of the library. This will become an aesthetically striking area of the campus when complete — something we can all see and be proud of every day.

March 2022

This March 2022 shows demolition of the pre-existing Alma College Library building.The exterior demolition part of the project is drawing a lot of attention — for good reason. The construction is taking place in the heart of campus, so excavators and major construction equipment of its kind are bound to draw attention. Lately, students, staff and faculty have turned out in-person to McIntyre Mall to witness the demolition of the covered side stairwell and main-level sidewalk bridge.

In the next couple of weeks, exterior demolition will conclude in the McIntyre Mall area and proceed to the south portion of the building, including the “the stacks.” As far as the interior goes, we’ll soon see mechanical, electrical and plumbing work begin. Ductwork installation and wall framing started this month, as well.

February 2022

Orange carpeting on the third floor of the Library is pictured. Orange carpeting on the third floor of the Library is pictured.Construction fencing was implemented around the perimeter of the Library, extending out to the Reid-Knox Administration Building parking lot. This helps keep students, staff, faculty and the public safe and away from construction equipment.

The process of removing materials, and sometimes walls, began in earnest. Dumpsters were installed outside of the construction site to house everything in. As much as we all liked the bright orange carpeting on the third floor of the library, it was time for it to be replaced.

Old light fixtures were removed. We are saving as many of these items for recycling as we possibly can. Abatement was scheduled and took place.