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Shea Learning Center
Troy, New York
The Sage Colleges

architecture+ planned and designed the transformation of the Campus’s 1950s library into a teaching and learning center that supports current best practices in higher education and enables student success in the 21st century. This was achieved by the realignment of the print collection enabled by increased access to online databases and resources. The integration of Academic Support Services, tutoring, and information technology departments into the building created a one-stop shopping model for research assistance, academic support, and instructional technology.

A new Learning Commons on the first floor enhances social interaction and cross-disciplinary learning outside the classroom. The social and study spaces of the Learning Commons include both enclosed and open areas for students to work collaboratively or individually. A café is adjacent to the Learning Commons to further forge social interaction.

The circulation desk was reinterpreted as the Sage “genius” bar. This area facilitates interaction around the desk as opposed to over the desk and is staffed by both circulation and reference library personnel and supported by information technology representatives. The desk is situated with a visual connection to the Learning Commons and the main entrance making it the primary service touch point within the building.  

The print collection is maintained at the south end of the second and third floors.  The arrangement of shelving allows for the creation of a quiet reflective study zone along the collection edge that takes advantage of natural light and views from the windows.  
The Academic Support Services area located on the third floor provides a new service touch point. Tutoring offices, a testing center, and a writing laboratory are clustered around an open peer tutoring reading room.

Throughout the building, classrooms, seminar rooms, and group rooms provide a variety of spaces to support individual tutoring, group instruction for tutoring, reference or instructional technology, as well as collaborative student work. This mix of spaces supports the fundamental shift in academics toward group learning and peer tutoring. Bound periodicals, archives, and the Information Technology offices are housed in the basement level.

A new elevator was incorporated adjacent to the main entrance to address accessibility from the entry level to all floors in the building. A new common arrival point at each level provides a visual connection to each entire floor, facilitates user orientation, and brings library services into view.

The human side of architecture