Experiencing the new Thomas Commons

Returning students entering the new Thomas Commons at the beginning of Block 1 were awestruck by the changes to their space. In September the students were still coming in through a construction-heavy foyer, but the improvements made over the summer were immediately obvious nonetheless.

Senior Tiffany Monreal had this to say about her experience seeing the new commons for the first time: “I just felt a rush of emotion. The space was so incredibly beautiful and it wasn’t even done yet! I just couldn’t believe that all of it was going to be mine to use in just a few weeks … Walking into the new Hilltop Café was an experience unto itself. The first thing I saw was the fresh produce in the refrigerators near the salad bar and deli. The new counter space and the ceilings took my breath away. I started to tear up and I just couldn’t stop crying. My eyes kept darting around to all the new things and I just had to stop and let the emotion take over.”

Thomas Commons grand foyer
Part of the renovations to the Thomas Commons include new lounge space in the Grand Foyer, where students can socialize or study.

The beginning of October saw even more development, as the grand foyer opened to reveal study and lounge spaces. From the foyer, one can look over the Orange Carpet into the Hilltop Café, view the digital wall for campus updates, visit the bookstore, or access the public use elevator to descend to Zamora’s Market, which features café options and more great study space. By January, the building will also house an indoor/outdoor fireplace and a renovated fitness center.

Students are excited to have these new spaces for their own use, of course, but they are also excited to experience the continuous unveiling of new community-oriented spaces first hand.

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