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PUC Renovates Nelson Memorial Library
 
By Katelynn Christensen
 
As part of a campus-wide effort to continuously enhance its facilities, Pacific Union College has begun the first stage of a two-part renovation of Nelson Memorial Library, using a fund of $1 million contributed toward the project by a large group of generous supporters. The renovation aims to modernize the facility to meet twenty-first century standards of aesthetics, technology, and approaches to learning.
 
Over the summer, construction crews are updating the library’s main floor to provide students with more individual study spaces, lounge areas, and private group-study rooms. A new circulation desk, as well as paint, lighting, and furniture, will create a more comfortable atmosphere suitable for focused study. An energy management system will stabilize the building’s temperature to reduce cost and resource waste. The building’s exterior is also being examined for possible improvements.
 
“It’s exciting to see the building opening up, with so much natural light now coming in,” says academic dean Nancy Lecourt. “The new look will be open and bright, and we hope the renovation will provide an environment that supports students as they study, work collaboratively, and do research.”
 
The construction, which began June 13, is scheduled to reach completion in early September, in time for the 2011-2012 school year.
 
The Nelson Memorial Library first opened in 1958, during the administration of President Ray Fowler (1955-1963). It features four floors, including a basement level and a penthouse meeting room. The library serves as the campus’s primary center for students to study, write, and conduct research, offering thousands of in-stock books, concordances and reference volumes, as well as specialized Internet search engines providing students with access to more than 30,000 online journals.
 
Upcoming renovation projects include a second phase of the library renovation, which will better integrate the library’s main wing with the adjacent media services facility. PUC administrators are also examining the possibility of updated or entirely new residence halls to keep up with burgeoning enrollment, as well as a restoration of the iconic west wing of Irwin Hall, which was torn down in 1982 due to structural concerns. All three projects are currently seeking funding.

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