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College library expansion under way

Addition to the building, which opens in the fall, will add more study space, computers

Posted: June 11, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 11, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Workers in the future Learning Center, part of the library expansion at College of the Canyons in Valencia on Monday.

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College of the Canyons students are a few months away from stepping foot into an expanded Valencia campus library that will include more study space, public computers and tutoring services, according to officials.

"These functions will support all students in all disciplines," said James Glapa-Grossklag, dean of educational technology, learning resources and distance learning at COC. "The guiding idea behind all these projects is to make the library as widely accessible to as wide a group of people on campus."

The Santa Clarita Valley's only community college broke ground on the library expansion about a year and a half ago with the goal of curbing the shortage of study space and computers at the library.

"During the key points of the semester, like mid-terms and finals, you can't find a seat in the library," Glapa-Grossklag said. "You can't access a computer. They are all taken."

The second floor of the expansion will add 10,000 square feet to the 25,000-square-foot library, which is open to the public.

The expanded second floor will also include a children's reading area to support the college's early childhood education program and youth literacy activities, he said. There will also be space for student clubs to hold meetings.

The majority of the $16 million project is being paid for with Measure M, a $160 million construction bond measure local voters passed in 2006 to help the growing community college renovate and build classroom buildings to serve the needs of students.

The rest of the project is being paid with state bonds for construction.

With construction nearly complete, crews will be spending the summer working on the interior - painting, and installing flooring and wiring, said project manager Tim Phillips of Klassen Corp.

The first floor will grow in size to house the campus tutoring center, known as the TLC. The current program runs from a 5,000-square-foot room at Bonelli Hall at the Valencia campus.

When it finds a new home this fall, the TLC, which employs up to 200 tutors throughout the school year, will serve students through its 40,000-square-foot home at the COC library. A total of 120 computer stations will replace the 50 stations.

Growth comes at a much-needed time. A total of 4,043 COC students spent 32,537 hours at the TLC this spring, a 29 percent increase since spring 2010, COC figures show.

"When the TLC opens in the morning, there's already a line of students waiting to get in," Glapa-Grossklag said.

The expansion will generate more meeting rooms, study rooms, classrooms and lab space, along with two rooms for proctored exams. In addition, the campus assessment center will move to the first floor of the library. There, students will be able to take the placement tests they need to enroll in math and English classes.

"More than ever, students are turning to academic support services, like the library and TLC, to make sure they are successful in the classes they have now," Glapa-Grossklag said.




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