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COC library to double in size

Posted: September 29, 2009 10:30 p.m.
Updated: September 30, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Students study in the Open Media Lab on the second floor of the College of the Canyons library on Tuesday.

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As more and more students enroll at College of the Canyons, college officials said Tuesday they are preparing to more than double the size of the Valencia library in a $24 million expansion project.

“We’re trying to serve more students,” said Jim Schrage, vice president of facilities planning, operations and construction. “The library opened in 1997. Our population has more than doubled since then.”

COC’s enrollment hit an estimated 25,000 students this semester.

The expansion will add 52,000 square feet to the 44,000-square-foot library, Schrage said.

The bigger library will feature additional English and math labs, a couple of classrooms, study space and private rooms for students to use, he said.

The expansion will allow for the Tutoring and Learning Computer (TLC) lab to move from Bonelli Hall to the library, said Leslie Bretall, public services librarian at COC.

“The library is busy all the time,” she said. “In the morning, every chair is taken.”

There are about 400 seats and 40 computers, she said.

Shane Zaw, a first-year student at COC, visits the library daily to study.

“It’s hard to get a computer or a table to study at because of the amount of people,” said 17-year-old Zaw of Valencia.

Katie Thursland, 16, of Canyon Country finds that the library is busy in the mornings.

Thursland, who uses the library three to four times a week, has changed when she visits the library.

“Sometimes I’ll get here earlier to find a seat,” said Thursland, who is in her second year at the community college.

The project will be funded by Measure M, a $160 million bond approved by voters in 2006, and the state, he said.

The college hopes to receive state approval by the end of the week, Schrage said.

That will allow the college to move into the bid process in time for a groundbreaking in spring 2010, he said.

The expansion should take two years and should be ready for student use by fall 2012, he said.

“It does fill the needs of our students,” Bretall said.

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