On Tuesday, Sept. 18, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, dedicated a newly renovated space on its campus, the Commons in Wartburg Hall. More than 250 students, faculty, staff and guests on campus for the Seminary’s annual Theological Symposium gathered to participate in the rite of dedication. Dr. Dale A. Meyer, president of Concordia Seminary, offered words of thanks for all who had been involved in the design and construction work. He then cut a large, red ribbon at the entrance to Wartburg Hall, and participants streamed into the renovated space where they received a description of its features from Stephen Mudd, the Seminary’s director of facilities.
While retaining the classic Gothic character of the interior space, the renovations include improvements to seating and food service efficiency, wireless Internet access and six wall-mounted computers which allow instant access to e-mail and personal electronic files stored on the Seminary’s computer network. A 72-inch flat-screen television and surround-sound audio provide an impressive environment for the Seminary’s traditional movie nights and for the viewing of sporting events.
The Commons will serve as the exclusive food service venue on the campus and will combine the services of the former dining hall and snack bar. Students on the Seminary’s board plan and others who wish to purchase quick-serve items ala carte are served quickly through an improved food service system. In addition, extended service of beverages and lite fare between meals provides an added service the Seminary community and guests.
“The objective was to provide a space where students, faculty, staff and their families can enjoy food, recreation and fellowship,” commented Mudd. “The design utilizes various combinations and styles of seating to create a very welcoming, yet functional environment. We also incorporated fabrics, paint colors and wood finishes that complement the existing beauty of the interior space.”
Flanked by a 20-foot bay window, a slightly elevated east end of the hall has been extended and furnished with comfortable, upholstered furniture, coffee tables and a smaller flat-screen television. “This area reminds me a little of a Starbucks,” commented Rev. Glen Thomas, special assistant to the president. “It’s an area where people can engage in casual conversation over coffee, read a newspaper or catch-up on the news.”
The Commons will be open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and will serve as a place for study and small-group meetings during non-meal hours. “It has been amazing to watch what has already occurred in terms of students utilizing the space during the day,” commented Thomas. “Study, discussion and Internet use are happening simultaneously at various locations throughout the Commons. It is now the focal point on the campus for interaction between students, faculty and staff.”
The Commons will be augmented by a soon-to-be dedicated game room, including ping-pong, pool and foosball tables. In late November, a new faculty lounge will also be dedicated. These facilities will be directly adjacent to the Commons and will enhance its community-building capability.
For more information, contact Seminary Relations, Concordia Seminary, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105; SemRelations@csl.edu; (314) 505-7365.