Bridgewater, Va.- Bridgewater College students got a welcome surprise this week; after almost two years without a library, the long-awaited John Kenny Forrer Learning Commons opened on Monday, Feb. 24.
On Sunday night students received an email inviting them to a reception celebrating the Grand Opening of the Learning Commons. The reception was held from 1-4 pm on Monday, and by 12:50 pm students were starting to surround the doors and fill the outside terrace. Right at 1:00 pm, the shades were slowly raised, allowing students their first look at the completed inside.
“I am so excited. I have been waiting for this for so long. I’m just excited to get a nice coffee shop that is on campus and to have a nice place to study and focus better at,” said senior Savannah Cowan. Cowan was at the front of the group of students eagerly waiting for the doors to open.
Once inside, students were welcomed by Ernie the Eagle and President Bushman. Excited students had fun exploring all three levels, plus the terrace, of the new building.
“It looks amazing. It looks a lot like the model that we saw online, but I didn’t even anticipate it to be quite how big it is, and it’s really cool seeing all the different elements they brought in, and how they managed to make every floor both a mix of library and study space and just something new and cool and exciting,” said sophomore Kylie Chisnell.
“I am very impressed,” said sophomore Courtney Seymore. “I like how everything’s all in one space now. We’re not running from a bunch of different buildings to go to Flory, or to the Eagle’s Nest, or go to all these resources; everything’s in one space.”
“I love it. It’s just really beautiful and really nice. Compared to the old library it’s completely different, and it’s amazing,” said junior Mayela Milian-Hernandez.
Many students expressed excitement for new study areas on campus, as well as fascination with the new furniture.
“I am thoroughly impressed. There’s so many study areas. It’s really, really nice, too; they chose very nice-looking furniture. It surpasses my expectations,” said sophomore Ben Hancock.
For seniors who hadn’t been sure whether they would have a library before they graduated, there were some mixed emotions.
“It’s kind of bittersweet. We’ve been waiting a long time for this, but we’re definitely going to use it for the last two months we have,” shared senior Morgan Todd.
Sophomore Lamont Jones seemed to sum up many students’ feelings: “It was a long time, but it was worth the wait.”