Six or seven years ago, before the roof was replaced, Mike Freeman had to rush to the library every time it rained.
• "If it was rainy or stormy, we'd be right down here," said Freeman, who is the director of the library at Utah Valley State College.
The roof of the library doesn't leak anymore, but Freeman is still excited to move to the new Utah Valley University library this summer. UVSC becomes UVU on July 1. The new library, dubbed the Digital Learning Center, will officially open the same day. On Friday, UVSC gave reporters a sneak peek.
The 190,000-square-foot building will be a welcome change from the 30,000-square-foot space the library is squashed in now.
"They can have it," Freeman said.
He said there is little he will miss about the current library space, wedged between the Honors Program and the computer science building. In fact, students use the library as a hallway. As he walked through it, Freeman pointed out the wear pattern on the carpet, which is indicative of the path to the other building.
In the current library space, there are only four group study rooms and 400 chairs in which to study. The new building will have more than 30 group study rooms and at least 90 computer work stations.
The new library is six times the size of the school's library now. In addition to the study rooms and work stations, the new building will house all of the library collections, a cafe, faculty office space, classrooms and a lecture hall. Freeman will have to share some space with the writing center, which is relocating to the library, and the IT servers.
As it is now, the first floor of the new building doesn't have drywall, and the rails in the stairway are made of two-by-fours, but the building is on time and on budget. The first two floors house the information commons, the cafe and books and study space.
"The first two floors are designed to be public floors. We expect a lot of noise, a lot of chatter," Freeman said.
Floors three through five will hold more of the library's collection as well as group study places and offices.
UVSC is hoping the library will become one corner of a new quad that will contain a new performing arts center, but that building is second on UVSC's list of priorities. Its first priority is a new science addition that did not get funded by the Legislature this year. Jim Michaelis, UVSC's associate vice president of facilities, said the school will ask again next year.
Val Hale, UVSC's vice president of institutional advancement, said his favorite place in the new library is the Timpanogos Room. The fourth floor is nearly all reading rooms with glass walls. One room looks over Utah Lake, and another gives a full view of Mount Timpanogos. When Hale stands in a corner of that room, he can see from Payson to Saratoga Springs.
"It's just a great view," Hale said. "The students are going to have a hard time studying."
UVSC President William Sederburg said he likes the light, airy feel of the building.
"One thing the architect has done very well is to bring light in," Sederburg said.
The library does not yet have an official name. UVSC is looking for a donor of at least $10 million; that name will go on the building.
"We would love to talk to someone if they would like their name on the building," Hale said.
The school is also accepting donations of anywhere from $10,000 to $1 million to name the study rooms.
• Brittani Lusk can be reached at 344-2549 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.