As part of the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s strategic planning work and its efforts to provide students with a personalized learning experience, officials are making lots of changes on campus—including changes that will provide students with more efficient service and a better learning environment.
Several spaces on campus have undergone, or are in the process of undergoing, renovations. One of the most visible changes is the work that has been done at the building formerly known as the Library. The changes there are so significant that the building has been given a new name—the Center for Innovative Learning. When visitors walk in the front doors of the CIL, they are greeted by a newly refurbished open space buzzing with activity.
This space, the Learning Commons, is being utilized for single and group study sessions, tutoring, Writing Center help, meetings with faculty and advisors, and many other learning-focused activities. To accommodate these different activities, several different groupings of furniture have been installed, from high tables and chairs to comfy couch modules to roly-poly stools and glass tables that you can write on with dry erase markers. Moveable dry erase boards are scattered throughout the floor in case inspiration strikes.
On this first floor of the CIL, the Library circulation desk has been relocated to the spot that used to hold the Library Conference Room. The space where the circulation desk previously was located is expected to house the IT Help Desk on one side, and a café on the other side.
In addition, renovations are underway on the second floor. A space on the eastern side has been walled off with glass partitions to serve as the new home for the Reed Fine Art Gallery. On the western side of the floor is a quiet area for small group meetings and study areas. Plans are in the works to add in a few treadmills and elliptical machines to help re-energize students during days full of studying.
Another building that has seen major change is Preble Hall, where a Student One-Stop area has been created on the second floor. This space allows students to get much of their “university business” done in one spot. On one side of the hall is Student Financial Services (which combines the two offices formerly known as the Business Office and the Financial Aid Office), where students can get their Financial Aid questions answered, pay their bills, and pick up their workstudy checks, among other things. On the other side of the hall is the Registrar’s Office, formerly known as Student Records, where students can get help with transcripts, transfers, and registering for classes.
“This was a huge step in the right direction for us to consolidate these offices into adjacent spaces on one floor so that our students could get all—or at least most—of their questions answered when they come to our administrative offices to take care of their non-learning needs,” Marty Parsons, UMPI Vice President for Administration and Finance, said. “We found that relocating these spaces across the hall saved a lot of time for students during the first week of class when they have quite a bit of university business to take care of, and having these offices in such close proximity only helps us to better serve our students.”