Rogers State University officials broke ground Oct. 3 for a new library facility that will double its current size and provide additional resources for its patrons.
“Today’s ceremony will celebrate the construction of a facility that not only will provide much-needed room for properly housing our growing library collection, but it also will serve as a focal point for students and area residents wanting to investigate the world around them,” said RSU President Joe Wiley.
The $3.71 million library is expected to be complete by the Spring 2004 semester. Funding for the library was provided through a 1999 legislative appropriation.
“RSU is very appreciative of our local legislative delegation, and in particular Sen. Stratton Taylor, for securing the funding for this important project,” Wiley said.
Joining Wiley in the groundbreaking ceremony were: Ben Bryson, president of the RSU Student Government Association; Dr. Richard Boyd, RSU vice president for academic affairs; Blaine Imel, architect; Jim Graber, architect; Alan Lawless, director of the RSU Library; Jim Cochran, mayor of Claremore; Rep. Tad Jones; Merle Hilterbrand of Loerke Construction Group; and Marguerite McKinney from Rep. Brad Carson’s office.
The building will contain 45,000 square feet, with the library occupying 28,000 square feet on the building’s second and third floors. The first floor will contain classrooms and faculty offices.
The library will be built on the west side of RSU’s Claremore campus between the Student Residence Hall and Loshbaugh Hall. The current 14,000-square-foot facility is unable to accommodate the dramatic growth since RSU became a four-year institution in 2000. The library has added about 5,000 titles annually, and it now contains more than 50,000 books, 510 current periodical subscriptions, 4,150 videos, and 1,100 CDs.
Features planned for the new library include reading rooms on the second and third floors, expanded student seating and study areas, a classroom, campus and community meeting rooms, and consolidated offices for library staff. Another planned feature is a coffee bar adjacent to the reading room on the library’s main floor. This feature is intended to make the facility more user-friendly and encourage students and other patrons to fully explore the library resources.
The building was designed by Graber & Imel Architects of Tulsa, and the construction bid was awarded to Loerke Construction Group of Tulsa.