The Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons isn’t only gaining oohs and ahhs for its shiny newness, but it’s quickly becoming the central point on campus for students.
The Holland Centennial Commons, which cost Dixie State College $38 million, houses the library, information technology, student services, business services and the English department. The building also has two cafes located next to the north and south entrances.
Adam Bischoff, a freshman general education major from Salt Lake City, said he thought the Holland Centennial Commons gave DSC a focal point on campus because students would find themselves there, often both in classes and the library.
President Stephen Nadauld said this was one of the goals he had planned for the new building.
“The really larger picture is that it serves as the intellectual hub of our campus and that it becomes the academic anchor for the other buildings,” he said. “It’s the place where students go to register and get financial aid and counseling.”
Nadauld called the building a “student success center,” and that everything students will need throughout their time at DSC will be found in the Holland Centennial Commons.
“If students will spend their time there, from the time they get on campus to the time they leave, they’ll get started,” he said. “They’ll get guidance, training in modern technology. They’ll learn how to write and get a job. The whole thing will come together for them.”
Jason Legg, a sophomore general education major from St. George, said he liked that all the services on campus were located in the building.
“Everything is here and ready for you,” he said. “It’s easy to know where you need to go, to find where you need to be.”
Students are also responding to the aesthetics of the building, which is 40 percent glass. Katherine Kirkland, a senior English major from Salt Lake City, said she liked how much light pours into the building.
“I like the glass,” she said. “I like that everything, for a better lack of word, sparkles.”
However, the glass classrooms aren’t everyone’s favorite.
Instructor Julia Combs said she thought the glass windows in classrooms would prove too much a distraction for students.
“I don’t like the classrooms being a fish bowl,” she said. “(If) a student comes in late, we all watch the student walk in late.”
But, Combs also said she thought the building was both open and beautiful.
Nadauld said the lightness and airiness of the building was one of the first things students would notice.
“It’s an open place,” he said. “It’s a place for collaboration.”
Nadauld listed the Zion Room, which features a ceiling-to-floor glass window looking toward Zion National Park, and the floating staircase as some of his favorite features.
The compact library stacks found on the third floor of the library also stand out for Nadauld.
“All that square feet that we would have books sitting on that students don’t consult very often, we have now as study space,” Nadauld said. “We maximized the student space and minimized the space for books.”
Nadauld said the new building heralds DSC’s coming university status and gives the campus a more university-like feel.
“I thought it would change the campus,” he said. “It would change the physical face of the campus and it would change the intellectual feel of the campus. It’s a project that’s exceeding my expectations, which were exceedingly high to begin with.”
Tours of the Holland Centennial Commons will be held on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.