Students, faculty and staff of Salt Lake Community College have a new place to gather, study and debate. In the center of the new Instruction and Administration Building (IAB) is an area known as the John Fritz Cultural Commons. It is dedicated to the memory of Fritz, who was influential in its concept.
“This area was a vision of a very dear, respected and highly intellectual colleague of ours, Dr. John Fritz,” says Cynthia Bioteau, president of SLCC. “This is a place for all of us to gather in celebration of inclusive cultural conversations.”
Exhibits, both permanent and temporary, will be displayed in the Commons area, which is almost entirely surrounded by windows, allowing for plenty of light. The writing center is on the first floor, and there are both enclosed and open study areas throughout the Commons.
“This building is dynamic. Its dynamics are very similar to what a kiva would be like sitting here and looking up, seeing all the people,” says Terry Dallas, a former SLCC student who spoke at the dedication.
Students were generally happy with the design.
“The seats are comfortable, and it’s generally quieter,” says Cassidy Johnston, an SLCC student studying pre-nursing. “Most of my classes are in this building, so it just makes sense to stay here and study.”
One student noted problems with the windows.
“Yeah, it’s nice that we’ve got windows in every room, but at the same time, without any shades, we can’t see the projector or visual aids that the teachers are trying to [show],” says Mark Clements, a transfer student studying psychology at SLCC.
As with any new construction, there are details that still need to be attended to, but learning is the top priority at SLCC.
“Moving takes stages, and the most important thing was to have learning occur,” says Bioteau.
The new IAB opened Oct. 15 on the Taylorville Redwood Campus.