University Library Addition & Renovation Groundbreaking on Feb. 20

University Library Addition & Renovation Groundbreaking on Feb. 20
Artist rendition of the University Library phase I addition.

The campus community is invited to attend the official groundbreaking ceremony for the University Library addition and renovation project, “Phase I — The Next Chapter,” on Monday, Feb. 20, at 11 a.m. on the grass near the northeast side of the library, next to parking lots C and D.

After years of work and planning, the physical start of construction on the expansion is scheduled to begin in the next few weeks and is expected to reach completion by Spring 2008. The result will be a state-of-the-art regional educational center.

Campus leaders and those involved in the project will be in attendance to commemorate the groundbreaking and provide a preview of the new facility. Renderings of the renovation and historic information about the library will be available.

Housing a collection exceeding 3 million items, the University Library was originally constructed in two phases. The four lower floors were finished in 1968, and the upper two floors were completed in 1989 to create a combined 205,000 square feet of floor space.

The current library project also consists of two phases. Phase I will feature the addition of 101,853 gross square feet of “people space” to accommodate increasing enrollment. This space — which will come from the enclosure of the ground floor overhang and expansion of the buildings east and west sides — will include classrooms and other areas to support new technological applications of library research. This phase will also feature the interior renovation of the first three floors of the six-story building, including wiring for state-of-the-art computing and telecommunications technology and improvements in Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) access. The new library will feature a full-service Starbucks with indoor and outdoor seating, as well as wireless laptop computers.

Another aspect of the project will be to reorient the building to better position itself along the universitys “cultural spine,” lining the library up with the W. Keith & Janet Kellogg University Art Gallery, Music Building and University Theatre, says Library Dean Harold Schleifer. The library's main entrance will be moved to the ground floor facing the University Park, with an atrium in the first floor that will create an area for people to walk through the library as opposed to around it.

Phase II will include renovation of the upper three floors and replacement of the existing exterior concrete panels, updating the overall environment and use of existing space. It will correct significant building deterioration in the outdated facility, including the heating, air conditioning and plumbing systems.

The library addition and renovation is a $58.5 million-plus capital project lead by Carrier Johnson Architects and Rudolph & Sletten Construction Management Co. The addition is funded principally by Propositions 47 and 55, which passed in 2002 and 2004. Renovation of the upper floors of the building is subject to a separate bond issue or other means of funding. To enhance the project, the university will raise additional funds from private donors.

While the next few years are going to be challenging for faculty, staff and students, the library will remain open for business during construction and will maintain a functioning library to serve the needs of the campus community.

The ground, first and second floors will be closed during construction, and, as a result, the library has compressed its services, staff, study space and collections into the existing third, fourth and fifth floors of the library. To accommodate the smaller space, some of the library's volumes have been sent to storage. Library subject specialists are available to address the impact on collections.

Updates of the library addition and renovation, including construction impact, will be provided to the campus community via e-mail and on PolyCentric.

For University Library information, contact Harold Schleifer, University Library dean, at (909) 869-3088 or by e-mail at; or Andrew Naranjo, library addition project manager, at (909) 869-3730 or by e-mail at For more information on the construction project, contact Leatha Elsdon, senior project manager, at (909) 869-4931 or by e-mail at