Innovative efforts to cater to students’ needs both in and out of the classroom bring a $2.2 million innovation project to the basement of the Ware Student Commons on the Washington Street Campus.
What once was an outdated basement that housed both reading and writing developmental education, has been transformed into a space that allows students to collaborate, create, produce and interact outside of the regular classroom setting.
The mapping of this project began roughly two years ago when AC employees spotted a need to provide students with a dedicated area to complete homework assignments, study, and brainstorm with other classmates. Clearing of the basement began last December, and the transformation process began shortly after. Through this innovative idea and a partnership with Parkhill, Smith & Cooper Architectural and Engineering Design firm, “The Underground” was born.
The Underground grants students access to a fully equipped Wi-Fi-powered state of the art facility that includes production rooms, presentation rooms, collaboration rooms, a laptop- accessible classroom, single or double private study areas, and a computer floor with both Apple iMacs and PCs. Over $300,000 in audio/visual and computer equipment was invested into The Underground to accommodate the diverse needs of every student. The Underground also offers a handicap accessible exterior elevator that conveniently brings students to and from the basement.
Pam Madden one of the site supervisors estimates that they see over one hundred students per day since the grand opening on November 5th. All equipment and every room is available on a first-come, first-serve basis; however, students must check in and check out during their visit. Although this space is primarily student-focused, AC employees do have access to the different spaces within the facility depending on availability.
Short term hours of operation at The Underground:
Monday - Thursday 7:00 am - 9:00 pm
Friday 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
To request or reserve space in The Underground: