It will also serve as a as a gathering space for alumni and the local community.
Members of the public will be welcome to visit the Commons and make use of its meeting spaces and coffee house as Ursinus opens its doors to even more families through this new welcoming gateway.
“The Commons is a truly exciting project for Ursinus College,” Ursinus President Brock Blomberg says. “Aligning with our strategic plan, it is designed to build upon our standing as a destination campus for students and their families, faculty and staff, and for our friends and neighbors, too. This is a place that will strengthen our connection to the Collegeville community. Anyone will be able to come to the Commons and experience what makes Ursinus so special.”
The Commons represents both new construction and a renovation project. It will incorporate historic Keigwin Hall on Main Street, which will be renovated and integrated into new, adjoining construction. Keigwin Hall will transform into a coffee shop with a multi-level terrace that overlooks Main Street. A two-story addition will house a bookstore on the lower level and an entertainment space on the second floor. An adjacent terrace will look out onto the campus’s front lawn, the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art, and Bomberger Hall.
Adjoining Keigwin on its north side will be a two-story college admissions suite that will also include meeting spaces for college and public use.
Designed by Philadelphia-based architectural firm Bernardon and constructed by Bancroft Construction Company of Wilmington, Del., construction is expected to last approximately one year.
Before construction of the Commons begins, Unity House, once known as Studio Cottage, will be taken down.
Last August, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, formerly located in Unity House, was renamed the Institute for Inclusion and Equity (IIE) and moved to a central location on campus. The decision to move the IIE was both symbolic and practical, but was necessary in order to help it assume a more central role in the life of the college.
Because the house has served generations of students, faculty and staff in many capacities, it is critically important to recognize its history and lasting legacy. The Institute for Inclusion and Equity, in coordination with facilities, has identified and collected items from the house that will be saved to preserve their history and meaning to the institution and to those who utilized this space. Members of the Ursinus community are encouraged to contact facilities to learn more about any of these items.