Fairleigh Dickinson University



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  • Project Overview
  • Project Details

Madison, New Jersey

November 2012

28,000 sq. ft.

General Contractor

FDU’s new Monninger Center for Learning and Research is the University’s main Library at the heart of the Madison Campus at the edge of a large open lawn, linking the residential portion of the campus with the academic. The new building incorporates a portion of the existing library and the historic Orangerie as a cafe and gallery space. The new facility provides a service-rich and uniquely social environment for learning and research in flexible and open space.

The Monninger Center, which is attached to the existing library, encompasses 20,000 square feet of new construction plus 7,500 square feet of renovations in the original library building and Orangerie. Offices for the College Writing Program faculty and Academic Support Center staff, six additional classrooms, open space for studying and tutoring, and two lounge areas are all located in the new building.

The ground floor consists of a large lounge looking out of a two-story wall of windows facing the Student Center. Around this lounge area are several classrooms, including two smart classrooms and a 90-seat lecture hall. The lecture hall, one of the largest classrooms on campus, has a 180-inch screen (made up of nine 60-inch flat-panel monitors) and a state-of-the-art Crestron control system.

The second level has a smaller lounge area overlooking the glass window. The office suites off the lounge area are for college writing and the Academic Support Center. The main entrance of the Monninger Center opens onto the second floor.

Environmentally friendly features include a 20-kilowatt solar panel on the roof and highly efficient windows, insulation materials, HVAC system and boiler. The Venetian blind-style sunshades on the window wall automatically open and close depending on the temperature inside and out.

The renovated Orangerie has new lighting, new media presentation capabilities, new furniture and new study areas. An all-new reference/circulation room replaces the old reference room, and a new office suite replaces the old circulation room.

“The Monninger space draws students into a kind of study and research triangle. The College Writing Program, Academic Support Center and library are all important places,” says Kathryn Douglas, director, College Writing Program. “Students need to link up with support services and understand how to get work done and Monninger makes this possible. Professional conversation has been made easy: we are bumping into each other, sharing ideas and making plans.”

Faculty and staff also find it easier to facilitate group sessions and classes in the new building. “Smart” seminar rooms offer the capability to record and archive sessions, allowing for review later. The 80” touch panel can also serve as a white board and will save the information written on it. The rooms also have complete connectivity abilities including ITV-Interactive Television, similar to video conferencing. Soaring ceilings, large study tables and walls of natural light add to the positive reactions from students.

The Monninger Center expands on the study and education resources already available on campus. The 21st century learning spaces — equipped for wireless computing and featuring multiple electrical and Ethernet outlets range from small group study rooms to a 100-seat auditorium. A coffee bar and the latest technology complete the modern building, which is replete with open spaces.

Designed to be a LEED certified building, the south facing orientation allows the new structure to maximize passive solar strategies and control abundant day light. The facility incorporates local and recycled materials, storm water management and water conservation features, high efficiency mechanical and lighting systems and low emitting durable interior furnishings and finishes.