360 Magazine
Methodist College



Peoria, IL

For the first time in its history, Methodist College has its own home and the room to expand to meet the growing needs of healthcare education. The College has a vision to be the premiere college of choice for excellence in nursing and health sciences education within Central Illinois. This vision is becoming a reality with the opening of the new campus. The main building houses faculty and staff offices, classrooms, labs, a simulation center, a café and a student commons. Student housing is located behind the main building.

Planning accelerated in 2014 when Methodist College purchased an empty box store for the purpose of turning it into a college campus. In an interview with Peoria Journal Star, Dr. Kimberly Johnston, College President, stated, “We just literally ran out of room.” The previous college building, a former hotel in downtown Peoria, was bursting at the seams. With the old building, the College had no expansion room for new programs or additional students.

The new building (126,000 sq. ft.) offers the opportunity to expand programs and grow as the healthcare profession changes. It gives Methodist College a place to call home, a place to teach future healthcare professionals, a place for students and faculty to meet, a place for faculty to collaborate, a place for research. The new building will allow the College to recruit new students as programs grow and to recruit and retain faculty who now have a state-of-the-art teaching facility.


Developing a Gathering Place

Lincoln Office and Methodist College have had a long-standing relationship, so when it was time to begin space planning and furniture selection for the new building, the College contacted Lincoln Office. Anchoring the main building is the Student Commons – a large space, located between the library and café. The goal was to ensure that the Commons became the hub of college life at Methodist College. Lounge chairs, tables and chairs, and standing height tables and stools create settings for meeting, studying, socializing and collaborating. It is a space that is welcoming and “home-like” with its vibrant colors and comfortable chairs – a gathering place.


Creating a Better Learning Environment

The academic offices are adjacent to one another in the building – separating academics from administration. The shared offices provide faculty privacy for focused work. A small table is in the office to enhance collaboration with colleagues and students.

The new classrooms use furniture that is flexible and movable. This encourages student collaboration and makes moving into groups easy. Chairs and tables are on casters and can be moved as needed by each class.

The node chair offers mobility, storage for backpacks and a large writing surface. Due to the node’s mobility, it can easily move to support different teaching methods – lecture, large group discussion and small group discussion. It is easy for students to connect with one another by moving into learning teams to work on projects.

Verb tables are also easily moved into multiple configurations for different classes. Whiteboards are used with the tables to share ideas and display information.

Lincoln Office worked with Methodist College to plan the layout of the offices, classrooms and the Student Commons to ensure these spaces met the needs of the College.


Achieving Results

Methodist College now has a campus that will make it the premiere college of choice for excellence in nursing and health sciences education.



“Working with Lincoln Office was a very positive experience. They were very supportive throughout the process – starting with discussing objectives and making a blueprint that identified cutting-edge workstations and the appropriate furniture and office supplies. They looked at what we already had and what we would need and mapped everything out for us in the blueprint. The Commons is one of the most popular areas. We are really pleased with the results. Lincoln Office helped us create a versatile educational space that offers our students a more flexible learning environment. We really enjoyed working with Lincoln Office. Now, we believe the new environment and office products have helped to enhance our students’ learning experience.” – Kimberly Johnston, Ed.D., Methodist College President

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