“Well, my goodness, one of the worldÂ´s most beautiful library is about to open,” said a proud Columbia College Librarian Larry Steuben as he scanned the open expanse of the brand new college building.
But before students can begin checking out books, using state-of-the-art technology, more than 40,000 books have to be moved into the brand new 20,000 square-foot Learning Resources/Media Technology Center on campus.
Construction cost of the new facility was $8.1 million.
Steuben said itÂ´s no easy task to move the old library into the new building. “ItÂ´s a very difficult job because we have lots of different categories of information and every one of those categories has to be kept in the right sequence.”
“WeÂ´ve hired a company that just specializes in moving libraries,” he explained. “They will take all of the books and keep them in exactly the same order that they were in originally and put them in the new location exactly how theyÂ´re supposed to be.”
The two-story building was built in response to the steady increase in enrollment since the college was first built in 1969. Today, enrollment numbers are close to 4,000 students this fall. The proposal to build the new facility was sent to the state in 1998 and was funded by Proposition 1-A.
“ItÂ´s going to be state-of-the-art,” Steuben continued. “Even though weÂ´re up in the foothills, our students are going to have access to world class information.”
College President Dr. Jim Riggs said the highlight of the new fall semester is the opening of the Learning Resources / Media Technology Center. It is the first new, permanent structure built on the college campus in 12 years.
The fall semester begins September 2. The new library is set to open Sept. 8.