When I first started my academic career here at Yuba College reconstruction of the library had just begun, which means the cafeteria/ library hybrid has been the place I go to not-so-quietly study. Starting next semester the seemingly endless construction of our new library will be complete. However this is not just a renovation, but a full blown overhaul of not only the building’s layout, but the functionality as well. The new building will be dubbed the Learning Resource Center or LRC for short.
I was lucky enough to sit down with Dean of Distance Ed. and Library Resources Martha Mills. She is most excited about the modern, informal learning space the building will provide. She described the LRC as a welcoming place saying “The new space is designed to provide 21st century learning for students and staff and encourage community building. If students feel they need help with anything, they should know they can find it there.”
I also interviewed Director of Facilities Planning George Parker. George helped plan this project from the beginning and says the new LRC will be a “one stop shopping center for research” the building will also be much more energy efficient, saving the school hundreds of dollars a year. His favorite part of the new facility will be its functionality, saying “it can do it all.”
The lobby will have bar style study areas for laptop users and couches similar to those found in the 2100 building. It will also have wall space reserved for student art pieces to be displayed. The LRC will contain the student success center (currently residing in the 500 building) which plans to be a modern escape for students with an open concept study space. But if one-on-one learning is more your thing you can reserve one of the study rooms with a tutor. The LRC will also host the Writing Language development center and an open media lab that will provide technical help for students and staff alike.
After donning a hard hat and reflective vest, I was able to tour the site. The LRC will be ready for whatever the future brings with movable walls and even foundation for a small café. My favorite aspect of the new LRC is the natural feel you get immediately after walking in. The large and plentiful windows and skylights have been strategically placed in order to utilize as much natural light as possible. The LRC will also feature an exterior courtyard with picnic tables and shade trees. The Japanese themed garden will also be re-established near the building providing a place for students to take a study break.
The LRC strives to be a polished and modern place for community learning and problem solving. It will forever change the way we learn here at Yuba for the better and educate us about extracurricular activities and events happening around town to enhance our community college experience.
Note: this article was featured in The Prospector Fall 2013 print edition