NAMPA-- Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa is laying the foundation for the future: The university will break ground on its new $16.5 million Student Commons Building on March 9.

NNU President Joel Pearsall says the 48,000 square foot facility will essentially be the hangout space for the 2,000 students on campus.

"It's a significant addition to our campus because it really underscores the holistic nature of our education," Pearsall said.

The Student Commons will include dining facilities, student services, the office of university mission and ministry and a welcome center.

"It brings together the social aspects with the academic aspects and provides space for the students, not only to interact socially, but in the midst of doing that, to also explore how that impacts them spiritually and academically," Pearsall said.

The Student Commons Building will take 14 to 18 months to build. All the money for it was donated as part of a major fundraising campaign.

Pearsall is Doug Petcash's guest on Viewpoint this Sunday morning at 6:30 on KTVB. Besides the Student Commons project, they also talk about how NNU students teamed up with NASA to send satellites into space and how students are making a difference in Africa.