New Graduate Student Commons Among Summer Upgrades in the Library

rendering of Graduate Student Commons
Architect's rendering of the Graduate Student Commons

Summer is construction season on Wisconsin roads, and, this year, in the Golda Meir Library as well. Several renovation projects will address important needs and update outmoded spaces.

The creation of a 2,700 square foot Graduate Student Commons on the second floor, east wing of the library promises to have the most impact on student success.

A collaboration between the UWM Libraries and the Graduate School, the common area will provide graduate students, who make up 20% of the student population at UWM, with a “third space” for their study needs — an alternative to home and classroom — where they can come together to connect and build community.

Currently the need for these third spaces is unevenly met by UWM schools and colleges, and the existing spaces vary in comfort, accessibility, and usefulness. The Golda Meir Library is a natural site for a commons on the main campus.

Overlooking the UWM Fountain and offering ample natural light, the new commons will be accessible to graduate students only. The space will support both group and individual work.

Construction will begin May 13 and is planned for completion by the beginning of the fall semester.

A second project is the creation of new open study space and group study rooms on the second floor, west wing. The 2,100 square foot area formerly housed the Archives, which moved into its extraordinary new quarters on the third floor this past fall.

Construction is scheduled to start in mid-May and last through the summer.