At the heart of the school lies a new place for socializing, collaborating, and support – the RC Commons. Located on the ground floor of Gould Hall, the space that has hosted generations of students has been transformed over the years. Alumni will have fond memories of PE classes when it was a gym, and unforgettable meals when it was the cafeteria. With the opening of the Murat Karamancı Student Center in 2016, which now houses the cafeteria, the space was ready to be reinvented once again. After two years of planning and installing mock-up fixtures to see how students use the space, the area was redesigned as a vibrant place that includes areas for classes and groups to meet, collaboration rooms, nooks for studying, areas for eating and socializing, a canteen, and a games corner where students can let off steam while playing foosball and ping pong. Also located here are two offices that students visit frequently – the Community Involvement Program and IT support offices. The abundance of undesignated working spaces were specifically created for faculty and students to mingle, hang out and share experiences..
Headmaster Charlie Skipper says of the space, “Faculty, students, administrators, the Board of Trustees and architects were all involved in creating a truly unique place on campus where gathering, games, food, student services, creativity rooms, collaboration areas, and small, and private spaces are available to all. It is a ‘commons’ in the old sense of the area used and enjoyed by all members of a community.” Students and teachers immediately took to the Commons as soon as it opened. “The new space is a very different experience than previous locations,” says Bosphorus Chronicle advisor Melissa Altıntaş, who uses the collaboration room for small group meetings with BC staff. “Since the room has glass walls, it gives students the chance to see a lot of the activities that go on in the school that used to take place behind closed doors. I love feeling of being integrated with the students outside the walls while working with the students inside the walls. It’s much more inclusive and personal.” For students, the Commons means more room for all types of activities. Lise 11 student Selin Gören says, “We used to complain that there aren’t enough places to sit and chat with our friends during the breaks. The Commons came to our rescue. This meeting place gives us a chance to come across some of our friends from upper or lower grades who we otherwise wouldn’t have time to meet. We use the tables and classrooms near the back of the Commons area to study or hold CIP meetings during the breaks. The fact that it’s right beside the canteen is also great; we can get a cup of coffee while studying or chatting with our friends.” She added, “In my opinion now with the new design of the Commons area we have another student center in addition to the Murat Karamancı Student Center. It definitely contributes to school spirit.” The Commons joins the İbrahim Bodur Library and Murat Karamancı Student Center as one of students’ favorite places to hang out, and a space that the entire RC community can enjoy.