Millikin University

University Commons

At five stories and 87,000 SF, University Commons is the largest building project in the history of Millikin University.

The project serves as the new front door to the campus, re-energizing the university’s learning space. The facility combines library and student center functions into one central location and encourages collaborative learning among students, faculty and administrators.

The new building blends the existing 1976 Staley Library with a large addition to the south side of the building. Elements of the library were incorporated into the new more efficient, forward-thinking design of the Commons. Library research is housed on the first floor; archives, stacks and study areas are located throughout the second floor; and the top floor is dedicated to reading, research and collaboration.

The Commons is a home base and living room for all students at Millikin. The campus is a blend of traditional students, PACE students (online, evening and weekend), and graduate students, as well as oncampus and commuter students.

In addition to some library functions, the Commons houses many of University’s research and innovation programs:

  • Math Center
  • Writing Center
  • Media Arts Center
  • WJMU radio station
  • New Technologies lab
  • Oberhelman Center for Leadership Performance
  • Center for International Education

Student dining with two meal options is located in the lower level, and the third floor space is used for events.

The entry leading to the addition is paved with brick, concrete and granite etched with phrases about the importance of education.

The design team sought input from the entire campus community to create a collaborative, creative space.

The project was funded through a blend of donations and an $8M bond. The Commons is one piece of a larger “Transform MU” campaign that includes initiatives for a new theater and dance center, a pavilion renovation, field renovations and scholarships.


Project Details

    • Gross Square Feet
    • 87,000
    • Completion Date
    • 2017
    • Construction Cost
    • $27,000,000
    • City
    • Decatur
    • State
    • IL
    • Zip
    • 62523
    • Client Type
    • Private
    • Enrollment
    • 1-2,500