Sol Harris Day Architecture

The University library, made up of the Kolenbrander-Harter Information Center (KHIC) and the connecting Learning Center, had long remained a warehouse for books with many quiet spaces for solitary study. With changing trends in higher education library design and technology, the library had the potential to be so much more. The University of Mount Union realized this and sought to consolidate their book collection to free up space to allow for expanded group study areas, add to their learning commons, and begin to infuse additional academic and faculty space for several different majors.


  • Master Planning
  • Facility Assessments
  • Space Utilization
  • Visioning
  • Estimating/Scheduling
  • Architecture
  • Interior Design
  • FF&E

Project Goals

From meetings with a core group of stakeholders and student focus groups, a clear set of goals for the spaces were established, bringing a focus to the design and planning process:

  • Allow for technology to be on display
  • Provide a clear understanding of a home for each University department [departments in action]
  • Physically connect departments for shared learning
  • Opening up spaces with glass & creating a connection between disciplines
  • Clear circulation paths [both horizontally & vertically]
  • Clear circulation thru the building by opening up & connecting spaces
  • Creating flexible study & group meeting spaces

In today’s global society, collaboration is key, in the workforce, in our communities, and in our schools. As we prepare students for success in this modern world, we must help them hone their abilities to lead ably, communicate effectively, and think critically. Thus, it is imperative that we provide them with spaces on campus that foster student interaction and team work, while leveraging innovation and technology to do so.

University of Mount Union

Building Organization

The  renovations to the KHIC Library were planned in stages with the 5,300 sf café and learning commons in the connecting Learning Center being the first project completed in 2014. A master plan study was conducted in 2017 to determine the educational space needs, best reorganization of these learning spaces and a phased construction schedule that would allow for continued use while developing the new areas. The organization of the new educational spaces include:

  • Expanded group study areas
  • Enhanced student study space
  • Relocation of the WRMU radio station
  • A communication digital classroom and studio
  • Creating innovative group “maker spaces”

Interior Concept

Considerations were taken in the master planning process to allow for a consolidation of books; an infusion of the Mathematics, Communication, and Foreign Language academic spaces; and an infill of the expanded learning commons and study spaces. The installation of compact shelving allowed the University to take advantage of under-utilized space, maximizing the re-allocation of space for the project. The new educational spaces were designed to meet the needs of the students by offering:

  • Flexible furniture that caters to the tech-savvy Millennial generation
  • A variety of furniture types for both individual and group learning/study
  • Rich textural finishes for enhanced aesthetics
  • A balance between existing building and new renovation
  • Student workflow between new Cafe and Learning Commons


  • Met with several departments at the University to determine programming needs, worked with the President’s Council to prioritize the program and created a master planning document to determine project phasing
  • Created/expanded learning commons and quiet study spaces with improved access to power and technology
  • Consolidated books to a central location within new compact shelving units
  • Moved and created new faculty offices for the Mathematics major with adjacent conference rooms and group study rooms

Meet the Team

  • Domenic Ferrante
  • Yvette Zingery
  • Abigail Maurer
  • Andrew Lallathin

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