Marie Kelly, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, came to the process to help develop grant proposals next.  In 2013 and 2014, the George I. Alden Trust and an anonymous donor each respectively awarded Stonehill College a grant for the renovation of the room. In addition to grant funding, the Library worked Stonehill’s Information Technology to fund the project.  


Alden Trust Application

Stonehill’s Request

Stonehill College (Easton, MA) remains deeply grateful for the longstanding relationship we have had with the George I. Alden Trust. From support for science equipment, to grants for the construction of our MacPháidín Library and Shields Science Center, the George I. Alden Trust has been a crucial benefactor in Stonehill’s growth and prosperity over the past twenty years.


We now respectfully request that the George I. Alden Trust consider a grant of $200,000 for the renovation of a technology-enabled classroom and collaboration space in our existing MacPháidín Library. This renovated library classroom will serve as a highly interactive space that utilizes advanced technology and innovative learning space design to maximize student learning outcomes. We envision a state-of-the-art instruction and study space for our students and faculty that supports a 21st century research, teaching and learning community.


Overview of the Library Classroom Renovation

At Stonehill College, our traditional classroom spaces are equipped with projectors and Internet access that allow our faculty to present class lectures using audio and visual resources. While adequate, this traditional classroom setup does not encourage the kind of student-centered teaching approaches that are key to the high-impact educational practices to which Stonehill aspires.


We seek grant funds that will allow us to turn an existing library classroom space into a technologically-advanced, interactive instruction space that allows for: (1) the explanation and modeling of research methods; (2) the ability for students to practice research methods (either individually or in groups) during the course of a lecture; (3) the ability to use the space for “hands on” workshop activities during the course of a research project; and (4) the ability to access online and print resources that allow students to fully engage in inquiry-based learning activities.


An innovatively-designed, technology-enabled Library Classroom will both improve learning in the library, as well as allow us to test out new approaches to designing and assessing learning spaces across campus.


Detailed Description of the Library Classroom Renovation

Opened in 1998, the MacPháidín Library is now in its fifteenth year. Libraries are changing rapidly, rethinking their direct service and their new services in a digital age. As such, Stonehill College is committed to a multi-stage renovation project that will revitalize the physical space and technological capacity of the library:


Phase One – Completed Summer 2011

Phase One of the library renovation involved moving the Center for Writing and Academic Achievement into a dedicated space on the third floor of the library, so that the student-centered programs overseen by the Center would be more readily accessible to students in a welcoming, professional environment. The Center’s new space emphasizes collaborative learning and peer tutoring. As a hub for student study and research space, the MacPháidín Library was a perfect fit for the physical location of the Center, which moved into renovated space on the library’s 3rd floor during the summer of 2011.


Phase Two – Completed Summer 2012

Phase two of the library renovation was the renovation of stack space on the first floor to accommodate the addition of collaborative study space and Ace’s Place, a café.  A need was identified for collaborative study space where groups and classes can meet to engage with library resources and develop projects.   As more reference materials are available electronically, the library was able to reduce the print holdings of the reference collection by 50% without sacrificing access to content.  Students now use the large tables and moveable whiteboards in the space to connect with library resources and each other to complete assignments; faculty also bring classes to the space for a collaborative setting where students can be sent to access materials and bring them back for immediate feedback from the faculty, librarians, and their peers as they develop research topics.


The Ace’s Place Café, in addition to offering sustenance to students and faculty, offers flexible space. The booths are currently being used both for 1:1 and small group meetings between students and faculty; faculty and student groups are also holding seminar style classes in the space, pushing tables together to create a more intimate teaching space with immediate access to both print and electronic resources.


Phase Three – Anticipated Completion Summer 2014

Phase three of the library includes enhancements and renovations to our existing technology classroom to create a state-of-the-art instruction and study space for our students and faculty that supports a 21st century research, teaching and learning community. Continuing the design concepts introduced during Phase II with Ace’s Place, we seek to renovate the existing library classroom space to provide our faculty and students with a collaborative classroom setting where faculty can encourage students to access library materials for immediate feedback from the faculty, librarians, and their peers as they discuss course lessons and develop research topics. Incorporated into this space will be advanced technology features and moveable furnishings that allow our students to better connect with library resources, staff, and each other.


Through institutional commitment, Stonehill has completed the first two phases of this library renovation, and has started the initial architectural design and development stage of phase three. We recently hired SGA Architecture to develop a 2D concept, a 3D rendering and a short write-up that describes the project.


We now respectfully seek a grant from the George I. Alden Trust to accomplish the remainder of phase three. A committee of students, faculty, and staff met regularly during the fall 2012 semester to outline the project scope and needs with the following results:


  • Instructor Workstation and Projection: An accessible workstation that can provide instructors with a space to sit or stand during presentations and to project their work in a clearly visible way (e.g. one or two screens) with the ability to display a variety of content in high-quality video resolution and high-quality sound.
  • Student Workstations and Projection of Student Work: A seating configuration so all students can see what is being projected and instructors can easily walk around to see what students are working on, with seating flexibility that allows for collaborative work—easily shifting from small group to lecture modality. Student workstations should also allow for quick and easy projection of an individual student’s work as an example to the class, as well as provide room for students to spread out print resources while they are also working online.
  • Instructor/Student Board Work:  The ability to highlight/illustrate particular content by hand through ample whiteboard space.  Ability for students to create flexible, defined spaces within the larger room to enhance group work.
  • Student Computing: Access to computers with specialized software, as well as library resources (e.g. the catalogue) and internet access that is readily available and reliable.
  • Student Collaboration:  Ability for students to collaborate electronically and in writing (capability for screen sharing so students can share webpages, co-edit a document, etc.); possibly with physical divisions of some sort and noise-control options so groups don’t disturb each other.


Revenue and Expense Budget

Funds Expended to Date


Phase One Renovations (Writing Center)

$ 44,800

Phase Two Renovations (Ace’s Place Café)

 $ 188,000

HVAC and Lighting Upgrade


Phase Three (SGA Architecture)

$ 1,800

Total Funds Expended to Date

$ 384,600



Phase Three Expenses



Estimates include: All-in-one computer on moveable podium with projection, etc. control panel; wireless keyboard; four wall monitors (largest flat screens available, 72+ inches diagonal, commercial  grade); Apple TV for second projector; document projector; interactive white board (e.g. Smart Board); 8 double wide, movable white boards (these can also serve as room dividers); 25 laptops available for checkout (1 teaching, 24 circulating – half mac/half PC); noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs available; 2 scanning stations with scanners.

$ 100,000


Estimates include: adjustable height instructor table; data cabinet; 25 mesh and padded roller chairs; 6 all-in-one desktops (possibly some with displays, etc. that are suitable for graphic design/media production); 6 bar height seats (existing if info café redone); shelving in circulation area for storing laptops; 12 smaller nesting tables that form 4 large tables; 4 small couches; 6 nesting benches

$ 60,000

Professional Fees

SGA Architecture completion - $20K architect plus $8k engineering support

$ 28,000

Facilities Contingency

Support for facilities needs as project progresses – electrical, structural, materials

$ 12,000

Total Estimated Project Cost

$ 200,000


Implementation timetable

Task/Action Item

Anticipated Date


Faculty Learning Space Advisory Group - Committee Formation

September 2012

Completed – Committee has been formed and is meeting regularly to discuss the development of innovative learning spaces on campus

Advisory Group Planning Period

January – May 2013

In Progress – In collaboration with the Faculty Learning Space Advisory Group, the Director of Stonehill’s Center for Teaching and Learning and Stonehill’s Library Director have completed a space audit, pricing, quotes for renovation/design, and a benchmarking project with other higher education institutions to better understand library classroom design and technology.

Design Phase and Construction Bids

January – May 2014

Not Started – pending successful application for external funding, SGA Architecture will be hired to complete final designs and construction bids will be reviewed for project.

Equipment and Furnishings Ordered

April 1, 2014

Not Started – April 1, 2014 deadline for all furnishings and equipment orders.

Construction Begins

May 2014

Not Started – Anticipated construction period from May 2014 – August 2014. 5-6 week timetable for completion.

Construction Ends

August 2014

Not Started – Room available for use in time for late summer academic programs and AY14/15 courses.


Organizational Capacity

The MacPháidín Library, named in honor of the College's 8th president, Fr. Bartley MacPháidín, C.S.C., is a 60,000 square foot facility that provides the Stonehill community with library information services in support of the College's mission and academic program. The MacPháidín Library serves as a hub for research and learning on campus—housing a rich collection of print materials, government documents and electronic resources. The building also features computer study labs, quiet study rooms and a newly-renovated library cafe.


In July 2012, Cheryl McGrath, former head of Access Services for the Widener and Lamont libraries of Harvard College Library, joined the Stonehill College community as the Director of the MacPháidín Library. McGrath is deeply committed to exploring the ways students and faculty can use a whole range of library resources and information services. Under McGrath’s leadership, MacPháidín Library staff, and Stonehill students and faculty are now reviewing the library's strategic vision and planning for student and faculty engagement with library resources. McGrath is responsible for the implementation of practices designed to support 21st century learning, teaching, and scholarship, and she has extensive experience to support her in this work.


Project Impact

Through the recent development of a Faculty Learning Space Advisory Group, Stonehill has embarked on efforts to build more faculty ownership of learning space design. This group has been instrumental in developing the plans for the library classroom, and will continue to serve in this role moving forward.  This advisory group will also be charged with assessing our innovative learning spaces, and so they will play a part in assessing the library classroom and determining its impact.


In preparation for a technology-enabled Library Classroom renovation, and to better understand how this project will impact our students, faculty and staff, the Faculty Learning Space Advisory Group surveyed student, faculty, and library users of the existing classroom space in developing our plans to better understand how the space is being used, and to determine what would be required to build an ideal technology space. It is our intention to systematically assess the impact of the library classroom through room usage rates and information, tracking the number of courses taught and technology utilized, as well as different room setups created and used in the space.