Final Frame – Thought spot

Posted on Apr 1, 2015 :: Features , Final Frame
Sean P. Johnson
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer
Photo courtesy St. Norbert College

Photo courtesy St. Norbert College

The campus cool spot sure has changed.

When St. Norbert built the new $20 million Miriam B. and James J. Mulva Library, it was a bit of a killjoy to have four floors of brand new amenities sitting above an unfinished basement. But that space did not remain vacant for long.

The De Pere liberal arts college took a page from the private sector and converted the unused basement space into the Mulva Studio, an innovation studio for student collaboration. This is not your typical library space stuffed with book stacks and study carrels. This is collaborative open space within the library complex where students can share, debate and create.

“It’s a reflection of everything we try to do here,” Director Kristin Vogel says. “Can you build on what you know and take that forward?”

Working with Elevate97 to incorporate branding and environmental graphics and branding reflecting the school’s mission of faith and reason working together, as well as the school’s Norbertine heritage, the Mulva Studio was opened to students in 2013.  The studio also features collaboration amenities such as small and large meeting spaces, comfortable furniture, writable walls and even a digital coffee table that runs Microsoft Windows or can be programmed using C++.

The lower-level Mulva Studio is now one of the most popular collaboration spots on campus. It has already housed competitions and innovation seminars, and is now a must-see stop on the college’s admission tour.

A full virtual tour is available at