“The principles that guided the Fahy Commons’ design align perfectly with our interdisciplinary approach to the liberal arts: inspire creativity and teach design; contribute to student, faculty, staff and community attraction and retention; build connections with others and social interaction; design a space that is flexible and adaptable; and promote physical and mental wellbeing,” said President Kathleen Harring in her remarks.
The Fahy Commons will be a 20,000-square-foot, three-floor building featuring student program and academic spaces. It intentionally brings together programs designed to deepen engagement with the public and build opportunities for interdisciplinary innovation. The Schools of Graduate and Continuing Studies, the Office of Community Engagement, the Muhlenberg Institute of Public Opinion and the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Program, in addition to art studio spaces, will all be located in the Fahy Commons.
The new building will be one of the first buildings in the world expected to achieve the Living Building Challenge Core Green Building Certification, a rigorous sustainability standard by the International Living Future Institute. The Fahy Commons is also being built to pursue LEED Gold certification.
Muhlenberg broke ground on the Fahy Commons site in May 2021 — the first new building on the College’s campus in 16 years — and a “topping-off” ceremony commemorated the placement of the final beam of structural steel that November. The building is scheduled for completion in December 2022 and will open to the Muhlenberg community for the Spring 2023 semester.
Thanking Gerald and Cathleen Fahy, President Harring led a toast: “Your support is a strong vote of confidence for our plans for the College, and you are setting the example for other alumni, donors and friends to step forward and follow in your footsteps through their own philanthropy and gifts to Boundless: The Campaign for Muhlenberg. Through your generosity, you are forever linked to the College, and we couldn’t be more thrilled about that.”
During the ceremony, Gerald Fahy said, “We were particularly drawn to be able to support the building’s functions to facilitate students to be innovative, creative, entrepreneurial inventors and artistic while fostering community engagement and activism. Today’s ever complex and rapidly changing world requires that. We are providing the resources that step up our efforts to meet these challenges.” In concluding, he said, “Let this building serve our college and community to meet those needs.”