27 September 2007

Official opening of Information Commons building

Photo: Information Commons

The University of Sheffield's state-of-the-art Information Commons building was officially opened on Wednesday 26 September 2007. The impressive £23m facility, which is a unique 24-hour learning environment for staff and students, was opened by Harsh Srivastav, former President of Sheffield's Union of Students and winner of this year's Chancellor's Medal.

Distinguished members of the local community, including the High Sheriff of South Yorkshire and the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, were in attendance. There was also a performance by Sheffield group Unbeatable Energy, who play traditional drums from West Africa and other percussion instruments, and music by In The Nursery, a Sheffield-based soundtrack band. Guests could also view a range of new art work that has been generously donated to the University by British artist, Bob Brighton.

Located on the corner of Upper Hanover Street and Brookhill in Sheffield, Information Commons provides the latest IT resources, including over 500 PCs, wireless networking and IT equipped classrooms; well-equipped spaces for teaching, learning and study; and 100,000 of the most in-demand books, along with a 70-seat café. It also provides accommodation for CILASS, the Centre for Inquiry-based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences. CILASS is one of the University´s nationally funded centres of excellence in teaching and learning.

The facility complements the University´s established library and information technology facilities, adding a new dimension to its service to students. The building provides a learning environment specially designed to meet the needs of undergraduate and postgraduate taught students at the University. 24-hour opening means that students can study at the times and at the pace that suits them.

Professor Paul White, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning at the University and Chair of the Project Executive group, which oversaw the construction, said, "It is a great pleasure to be able to welcome members of the local community to this wonderful new learning centre and to be able to offer our students such superb facilities. The Information Commons is just one of a portfolio of new buildings the University has invested in recently, to help us maintain our position as a leading UK university and support the needs of our students in the 21st century."

Harsh Srivastav added, "This is not only an iconic building with great architectural features but it also provides an excellent study environment, where students can work how, where and when they choose.

"I have always been proud to be part of this university and now to be associated with such an amazing building is a real pleasure. I am sure students will benefit greatly from the warm vibrant environment, technology and excellent facilities Information Commons has to offer, now and in the future."