Story by Ana Acosta
The new Library and Language Resource Center has been delayed for another six months, due to failing state safety inspections.
The library was expected to open by the Fall 2018 semester but has been delayed until Spring 2019. Since construction began in summer 2015, the new library has been eagerly anticipated by the college community.
Some in the Palomar community have speculated the delay is due to the implementation of an expanded presidential suite intended for Superintendent/President Joi Lin Blake. In an email, Vice President of Finance Ron Perez wrote that rumor is false.
Perez explained the main reason for the delay is structural. Clarifying the major issue was the “ceiling support systems required additional work as it failed DSA safety inspection.”
Other minor issues such as landscaping, furnishing, and technology installment were also included as reasons for the delay.
“DSA final inspection and certification… is needed in order to allow occupancy,” Perez said.
Director of Communications Laura Gropen further noted the Spring deadline was necessary as it wouldn’t be practical to transfer the large amount of occupants and resources to the new library mid semester.
There was also concerns voice during a Faculty Senate meeting on Aug. 20, regarding the expected cost of the remodel with the expanded suite.
A response was sent on behalf of Perez, on Aug. 20, that detailed the plans for the remodel, as well as how much it would cost.
The email explained the suite would include the office of the Superintendent/President, a conference room, restroom, executive assistant office and waiting area, and more. It also explained the expected cost would be $700,000.
Once completed, the new four story building will feature various meeting and study areas, as well as tutoring and computer services for students. Librarian April Cunningham mentioned the moving process in preparation for entering the new building has been lengthy, but noted “It’ll be worth the wait.”
Throughout the process of designing the library, Cunningham said they toured other libraries to see what students were utilizing most. Their main focus was to create a workspace that would foster effective learning for students.
It will be, “a space that students are going to make their own. They’re really going to be able to find ‘their’ spot,” Cunningham said. “It’s going to give a whole new life to that part of campus.”