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New library set for ground breaking Spring 2015

An aerial view of Palomar College at dusk, September 29, 2014.  Angela Marie Samora/The Telescope
An aerial view of Palomar College at dusk, September 29, 2014. Angela Marie Samora/The Telescope

As the semester winds down toward Winter Break, students will be welcomed back next spring with the groundbreaking of the college’s new library.

The next campus project slated for construction will be the new library and Learning Resource Center. The $49 million project will commence sometime in Spring 2015, according to Chris Miller, director of Facilities.

The 2006 voter-approved construction bond, Prop. M, is funding for this project.

The four-story structure will be twice the size of the campus’ current library, President Robert Deegan said.

The first and fourth floor of the LRC will be a traditional library setup. The second floor will hold academic technology, while the third will house the tutoring center and additional library space.

Linda Morrow, library department chairwoman, said that the new LRC is an exciting addition for the college and that they’re very optimistic about the enhanced services that will be provided for the students.

One of the deprived elements the current library has is its lack of instructional space and its aged technology, Morrow said.

Before the library staff posted its orange and red signs declaring what electrical outlets were usable, students were left foraging for these outlets scattered around the library walls.

Once connected to an outlet, students are found sitting in the middle of hallways and the cords connecting to their electronic device laid out haphazardly across tabletops and walkways. This has created a dangerous and inconvenient environment for students and will be resolved in the new LRC.

There are currently two library classrooms and three private student group spaces available in the library. One thing Morrow would like to see in the LRC is an expansion on these services and some adaptability for the long-term.

The LRC will have its opening debut Fall 2017 and the current campus library, built in 1983, will see a $20-million renovation the following spring, Miller said.

The Spring 2018 renovation will create a one-stop student services center housing Admissions and Records, Student Assessment, Counseling, the Transfer and Career Centers, International Student Services, Veterans Services, College Health Services, GEAR-UP, TRIO, EOPS and DRC services under one central location for students.

Miller stated that the renovation to the 31-year-old library will have to meet current earthquake codes and be structurally enhanced to do so.

While the renovation is still in the design phase and no renderings or blue prints have become available, President Deegan was able to provide a glimpse of what the library will have in store for its future.

According to Deegan, students and faculty will say farewell to the 38-step staircase that lead to the second floor of the library.

Once the project is completed in Fall 2020, students will be met with a more inviting entrance with an updated stairway and elevator system. The new entry way will solve the accessibility problem currently faced by students and faculty.

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