New science library complex renamed to honor former UO vice president
The science library is next on the University of Oregon’s list to renovate.
“The goal is to transform the out-of-date basement library into a social hearth for science, with high technology and spaces for science students,” said library head Margaret Bean. “The boost in science major enrollment created a greater demand for spaces and facility.”
“With the rapid growth of science students in these past couple of years, the new library will open up new spaces to encourage more collaboration between students and faculty,” Bean said.
When complete, the Price Science Commons will replace the whole underground facility with high technology and add a cafe, as well as spaces for science events.
The expansion will provide as many as 520 more seats, that’s double the amount of what the library can currently hold.
A visualization room will also be built, adding a screen wall. The library will also be connected with the Klamath computer lab to increase access after the remodel, Bean said.
The library was built in the ’60s. Today, the library is at the end of its days, according to planning associate Gene Mowery.
Beside the failure of mechanic systems, the library often suffers from leaking issues from the top level plaza, despite multiple attempts to fix the problem.
“It’s nothing devastating,” Bean said. “But it’s an ongoing annoyance.”
The project is carefully planned and divided into four phases, Mowery said. The loudest portion of construction, was finished during winter break.
During the first phase of construction, the library sold over 19,500 books to Better World Books to make room for more study areas. The profit will go to SMART, a non-profit organization in Oregon to help raise literacy rates in Oregon.
The $16.75 million project was paid with state bonds and donations, which matched the remaining cost. There was an $8 million gift from Lokey honoring Allan Price, a former UO vice president who passed away in 2012.
During his tenure from 2001 to 2008, Price greatly supported UO president Dave Frohnmayer in planning a transformed campus. He oversaw Campaign Oregon, one of the most successful fundraising campaigns. He also brought back over $835 million to UO. Price was also the president at Oregon Health and Science University Foundation.
With the gift for the library, Lokey’s sum in donations adds up to $139.9 million, to University of Oregon’a academics, including the science building.
Senior and human physiology major Alexis Davidson said the library was like her second home.
“I’m graduating next spring. Although I won’t be here to see the new library, it is still very exciting to see how it will turn out,” she said. “To be honest, I don’t like the Knight Library as much. It is smaller and has a better atmosphere here.”
Junior Derek Pan majors in Japanese, but he still comes to the science library on a daily basis.
“It’s quiet and comfortable here,” he said. “I get a lot of work done here.”
The project is planned to be finished in spring 2016. During the construction, the library will still be open for all students and faculty.
Follow Tran Nguyen on Twitter @tranngngn
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