The former Linden High School library and media center has been transformed into a college-style Learning Commons with a modern look, high-tech tools and relaxed atmosphere. The Board of Education cut the ribbon on Feb. 28. 

By Gary Miller

The Board of Education held a ceremonial ribbon cutting on Thursday, Feb. 28, for the new Learning Commons at Linden High School.

The room – formerly known as the library or media center – has been undergoing major renovations since the summertime. It is modeled after a college student center in hopes that it will be used as a relaxed gathering place for meeting and learning. All new furniture, including easy chairs, stools and a welcome desk, contribute to the relaxed atmosphere.

SEE MORE PHOTOS OF THE LEARNING COMMONS

“The vision has always been to create an inviting learning environment for students and to emulate the space found in colleges and universities,” said Principal Yelena Horré. “The Learning Commons is first and foremost a student center. It offers flexibility in purpose and is intended to match individual learning styles and student goals.”

two photos of windows, one frosted and one clear

The windows between the Learning Commons and conference room can be changed from clear to frosted with the flip of a switch. The same goes for the windows onto the second floor hallway.

The Learning Commons includes a glass wall that opens onto the school’s second-floor hallway, as well as a conference room also separated by glass. However, with the flip of a switch, the glass turns from clear to frosted, to allow for private meetings.

“There are charging stations, smart boards, traditional books, a student conference center, and the space provides the opportunity to sit alone, in pairs or a group,” Horré said. “The Learning Commons will be open to students both before and after school.”

Board members, administrators, special guests and the architects toured the room and examined the new décor.

“Everyone was very impressed by the new Learning Commons, and I think the students will be equally amazed at the change,” said Superintendent Danny A. Robertozzi. “It combines a sharp, modern look with many useful features, and should be a centerpiece for student activity for years to come.”

Major construction is done, but books and other equipment still must be put in place before it is open for use.

“The opening of the Learning Commons is truly having a vision come to fruition,” Horré said.

Board of Education, administrators and guest in revamped learning commons

The Board of Education and other visitors christen the Learning Commons at Linden High School. Seated in front row, from left, are Superintendent Danny A. Robertozzi, board members Tracey Anne Birch and Sheenaider Guillaume, Board Vice President Katarzyna Kozak, board member Doris Johnson and Mayor Derek Armstead. Back row, front left, are board member Marianthe Manganello, Linden Education Association President Eloy Delgado, Jerry Rubino of Di Cara | Rubino Architects, board member Dawn Beviano, Jacob Sentschak of of Di Cara | Rubino Architects, Supervisor of Maintenance Lawrence Miranda, Business Administrator and Board Secretary Kathleen A. Gaylord, Board President Gregory R. Martucci, board members Patrick Gargano and Ahmed Shehata, Principal Yelena Horré, Board Attorney Brian Aloia, and Councilman Barry Javick.