Additional reporting by Jeffrey Cox. Video produced by Kris Kelso
On Monday, November 16, the ground breaking ceremony for the expansion of College of the Canyons library took place at the south end of parking lot 15. The expansion will add 51,000 square feet at a cost of $16 million to the existing library and house the Learning Center, which will be moved from Bonelli Hall.
The current library was opened in 1997, but with a 218 percent growth in enrollment since 1997 the need for a larger library became a priority. In 2008, over 32,000 volumes were circulated from COC’s library and over 100,000 searched were performed of the online databases. COC Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook said (the expansion will) “meet the needs now, and in the future.”
According to James Glapa-Grossklag, Dean of Educational Technology, Learning Resources and Distance Learning, the expansion will provide increased opportunities for collaboration. Last year, the Learning Center provided 35,000 hours of tutoring, up from 13,000 in 1995. The Learning Center will increase its size by nine times and double the amount of computers available.
Funding for the project was made available by Measure M in 2006. With the competitive environment in the construction industry, the project came in $7-8 million under budget, with the excess money being freed to help construct an on campus Culinary Arts building.
The official ground breaking occurred at 3:08 PM, and construction expected to start in January 2011, take 18 months and open in time for the Fall 2012 semester.
Van Hook stated the new library will be one of the largest in California at a community college. Expansion at COC has been massive in Van Hook’s 22 years at the college, which she called “a gift to be able to dream it and do it.”
Guest speakers at the groundbreaking included Michele Jenkins, Vice President Board of Trustees, Jan Keller, founding librarian at COC, James Glapa-Grossklag and Dr. Dianne Van Hook.