While Anne Arundel Community College students were on spring break this week, the school began making room for the $22 million renovation of its Truxal Library.
The Arnold school will renovate the three-story, 43,750-square-foot facility with a 31,300-square-foot addition that will include 161 more computer stations, 15 new group study rooms and two teaching labs that will allow librarians to work with students on research projects, AACC officials said.
Extending the library in a space once known for its beach volleyball area, college officials say the renovation is part of the school's efforts to ensure that its facilities keep up with expanding services for a rising enrollment.
To keep the library up and running during construction through this July, the school will move the library's Computer Technology Learning Center, math lab, reading lab, reading offices and tutoring center to the Annex A building.
The library's writing center and Honors Center will be moved to Annex B. Both annexes are south of two student and visitor parking lots. Currently Annex A is used as a classroom, and that classroom space will now be housed in a temporary building on another school parking lot.
In July, AACC will move other library items, including its collection of more than 140,000 books, furniture and computer equipment, to a modular building housed on some of its tennis courts. The library is scheduled to reopen in August 2012 for the start of fall classes.
Cindy Steinhoff, AACC library director, said the shift will ultimately empty the library and enable the project to be completed in 16 months, as opposed to a projected 28 months.
"We're going to be in a modular building after July; there's not going to be any work done inside the building until after we leave," Steinhoff said. "The only work that will be done between early April and July will be exterior work, some of the site prep work."
Steinhoff said the renovation will include adding two teaching labs to allow librarians to work with students on research projects.
She said one of the new teaching labs will seat 40 students, which would be one of the largest classrooms on the campus. After the renovations, she said, the library will offer computer stations that will enable as many as a half-dozen students to work collaboratively.
The library is named for Andrew G. Truxal, the school's first president. Steinhoff said that the renovation is needed for a library that was built in 1967 and only partially renovated in 1985.
"It was a very minor renovation; much of it was turning offices back into library space," Steinhoff said. "There was nothing done to the core systems, the elevator, the heating and the plumbing. It's an old building. It was also built at a time when the school was much smaller.
"We have about 16,000 students coming for our credit program, and back in 1967 when the doors opened, I don't think we ever envisioned the student population would have been that large."