On March 6, the student body received an email from the school regarding the status of the Learning Commons and its amenities claiming there is a delay due to infrastructure issues. Due to this, Qdoba has an expected opening date in early April. Until then, Joe’s will remain in their current location.
Concern amongst some students exists. “At first it was COVID regulations where we couldn’t congregate in groups to study, then they closed the library leaving us with out a common place to meet, now it just doesn’t feel right in the learning commons it seems like it was rushed, it feels like it wasn’t made for us, but for students in the future, which really is such a shame,” said Peyton Triplette (24’)
After now being open for the last two months, it is safe to say the learning common has been a success amongst most. With new furniture, multiple floors and even a computer lab now open. It’s giving students a new place to academically excel as it was intended to do. However, students’ reactions to the new space have varied.
“It seems very empty inside, and the white paint doesn’t do it any favors. I walk in and feel like I’m in a hospital not somewhere to meet up with some friends or get work done…. It’s just really frustrating to hear what the college is going to do versus what actually is done,” said Triplette.
The updated learning commons building is not just a place to study but also for some, it would be a place to eat.
“I have an extremely busy schedule and most nights [I] am not able to use meal swipes to eat,” said Triplette. “It is extremely frustrating when late night closes at 9:30 and I’m not out of Work or Class yet. As a college student, I’m not made of money. In previous years, I relied on Joe’s to get me food but now I don’t know what to expect.”
Although the updates happen via email, dates have consistently moved backwards. This effects not only the students but also staff working there.
“The learning commons is a nice building and as a freshman its truly an honor to work here as a manager, as for updates about when things are going to be completed around here. I truly couldn’t tell you, not because it’s classified, but because the employees that work here don’t even know,” said Eli Mull (’26), Student Manager at the Hatcher Learning Commons.
Taking a trip to the basement of the learning commons where the new Loch Lomond Café, which will house the new Joe’s location and the Qdoba restaurant, it is apparent the construction is still in progress. This raises the question of when it will be opening and why so many promising dates have been surpassed.
“I can’t wait for the construction to be over, it’s a hassle when things like certain walkways are closed. I’m really excited to see the learning commons fully finished. I think it will be great for the future students at Alma College,” said Jacob Cornman (23’)
On Thursday, May 4th, there will be a dedication event for the Greg Hatcher Learning Commons. More information will follow as the date draws closer. In the meantime, study spaces are open and available to use, along with collaborative spaces on all floors.