What’s Old Is New: Assembly Room Transformed into Baldwin Commons

The updated student space encourages community collaboration


Photography by Sophia Ran '23

Baldwin students working in the Commons.

The new Baldwin Commons, a four-quadrant space where Middle and Upper School students alike can gather, opened on February 6, 2023. The Baldwin Commons replaced the old Assembly Room in the Residence, and students are encouraged to use the space to spend time with friends, host club meetings, and enjoy a snack. 

Unlike any other building at Baldwin, the Commons will be a unique area intended to offer students the opportunity to socialize. 

Mrs. Reed, Director of the Upper School, said, “The library is a study space and the Innovation Center is meant for classes as a whole to use, so the Commons is meant to be a place where you can find a comfier seat and just hang out.”

Unlike the grade-specific lounges, the Commons will provide a space for students across classes to connect as a whole community. 

When asked her opinion on the Baldwin Commons, Sophia Ran ‘23 said, “It’s kind of far from the Schoolhouse for me, but if you want another space it is definitely worth going up to the Residence.”

For Middle School students, the distance is not a problem because the Commons is a short trip from their classes on the second floor of the Residence.

Elena Mantini ‘28, a seventh grader, said, “I think it is going to be a great space because the Innovation Center is far away and hard for Middle Schoolers to access, so this is going to be another space for us to use.” 

The Commons will allow Middle Schoolers to collaborate with Upper Schoolers, something that hasn’t been easy ever since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Señora Álvarez, Middle School Dean of Students, said, “As a school, we have been trying to be really intentional about having the different divisions do activities together, and because Upper School and Middle School lunch and community periods align in the Residence, the fact that we can have that shared space where you can eat will allow for cross-divisional activities.”

How and when students will use the Baldwin Commons is yet to be discovered, but it is sure to bring many new and exciting opportunities to our community.