|@St. Norbert May 2010 - Todd Wehr transformation takes old library building from adequate to amazing||St. Norbert College|
The Todd Wehr Hall renovation brings with it new gathering spaces, large and small.
Todd Wehr transformation takes old library building from adequate to amazing
Mike Thiel ’07 reflects on his first visit to the renovated Todd Wehr and marvels at the building’s transformation from library to student services center.
The fresh look and new mission for the building became possible with the opening of the college’s Mulva Library. The state-of-the-art new library, located at the main entrance to campus on the west side of Third Street, opened last August.
When I graduated from St. Norbert in the spring of 2007, I realized I had spent little time in Todd Wehr, or what most students referred to as the library (or “brary” in short-lived campus slang).
It’s not that I didn’t study; it’s just that, for me personally, the somewhat cluttered, dimly lit atmosphere wasn’t where I did my best work. Ironically, I went to the library most often when I needed to print an essay or when I wanted to chat it up.
These days, Todd Wehr – now re-imagined as Todd Wehr Hall – is far more attractive than it was three years ago; shedding its reputation as an average library, TWH now beckons from the heart of campus as the ultimate student services center.
I’d heard of the hall’s renovations and the services now brought together under its roof: residential education and housing, career services, business and finance offices, the registrar, the campus bookstore ... all the student-centered assistance the campus offers, in short.
But the benefits of such a consolidation had yet to fully register in my off-campus brain – that is, until I entered the hall for the first time, my young alumnus eyes shining brighter than the halo above the statue of Abbot Pennings.
The once-cluttered combination of computers, tables and bookshelves is now a spacious reflection lounge with stained-glass windows, housing the information desk. The second level is home to parish offices and other services I would’ve used had I known their location during my run on campus.
It was at this moment I realized how serious – and valuable – these renovations must be to current students, especially incoming freshmen.
During my freshman year at St. Norbert, as small as the campus is, I almost needed a map to figure out which building housed what. That church is a bookstore? The business office is in the science building? On the other side of campus?
Now students can meet with an academic advisor, register for classes, stop at the financial aid office and walk out with a stack of textbooks in one visit to one building. Centralizing these student services back in 2003 would’ve saved me a lot of walks in the wrong direction, and I celebrate that students can enjoy such a useful destination in 2010.
The new Todd Wehr Hall will include:
• The campus bookstore, moving from its current location on Grant St.
• Career Services
• Academic Support Services
• Campus Ministry
• The parish office
• Program of Faith, Learning and Vocation
• Office of Norbertine Vocation
• Financial Aid
• The bursar’s office
• Residential Education and Housing
• Honors Lounge
• ESL classrooms
• Small meeting rooms
• The Discoveries International store.