Jason Olson, Deseret Morning News
OREM Shhhh ... here's a little secret: Gone are the days of dark, damp, musty libraries that are silent as a tomb.
Instead, imagine a high-tech building full of light and warmth, full of special rooms for students to meet in or to just lounge in an overstuffed chair and read. And don't forget a small coffee shop and cafe.
Chatting is encouraged at least on certain floors of this library.
"We're changing the rules," says Michael Freeman, library director for Utah Valley State College in Orem.
In four months, you will be able to step into this new five-floor, 190,000-square-foot structure that is under construction at UVSC's campus.
The school will celebrate the scheduled completion of the library on June 30 from 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with tours and festivities. The event will coincide with other activities that night and the next day as the college officially becomes Utah Valley University.
The new library makes a symbolic statement as the college moves to university status, said UVSC President William A. Sederburg.
"What universities are all about is academics," Sederburg said. "This is the heart of Utah Valley University and will be a tremendous asset to the school, to our students and to the community."
The $48 million library project is on schedule and within budget, officials say.
Alspector Architecture, out of New York City, teamed with architects Cooper Roberts Simonsen Associates, out of Salt Lake City. Joining the pair is contractor Layton Construction Co., based in Sandy.
"This will change the face of this campus for the future," said Bruce McDonough, vice president of Layton Construction.
The design provides for wide views of Utah Lake to the west and the mountains on all sides. The windows are energy-efficient: they bring in light but not the heat. The main floor touts a 150-seat lecture hall, cafe and commons area for people to access the Internet. There will be an enclosed computer room for people who bring their children, with books and other entertainment for kids. The second floor has computer labs.
The third floor will house archives, special collections, journals and periodicals. The top two floors will have space for studying and receptions, as well as classrooms and faculty offices.
The library has 35 study rooms, some of which will have projectors and computers so student groups can practice presentations.
The building will include wireless Internet and multimedia stations for image, video and audio editing. There will be 90 general-use computer workstations with common software applications.
UVSC officials emphasize the library includes room to grow and is to be a learning environment not just a place for research. "The times change, and we change with the times," Freeman said.
UVSC plans to collect up to 150 pieces of donated artwork, including sculpture and photography, to decorate the building.
The library is still looking for a name. If a donor steps up to the plate with $10 million, the structure will bear his name. There are also study rooms and reception spaces and an auditorium to be named, ranging from $10,000 to $500,000 to $1 million in donations.UVSC's old library will be used as a student success center for advising and counseling.
UVSC's new library
Size: 190,000 square feet
Cost: $48 million
Special features: 16 skylights, 35 study rooms and three elevators; 42,000 square feet of glass on the building
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