By Nikki Martinez
A ceremony was held to unveil the remodeled Library and Resources Center at CSU-Pueblo, which underwent over two years of construction and cost $24 million, Friday, April 22.
Over 450 student, faculty and community members attended the ceremony which was held in front of the remodeled building.
The ceremony was kicked off by a speech from CSU-Pueblo Interim President Julio Leon and hosted dignitaries Gov. John Hickenlooper, Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia and CSU Chancellor Joe Blake.
Rhonda Gonzales, dean of the library, spoke about the difficulties during the library construction and the rewarding pay off of the new structure.
The library ceremony also celebrated over 8 years of planning, Gonzales said.
“We (the library staff) are so proud to be able to provide this facility for the students of CSU-Pueblo because you guys deserve it,” Gonzales said.
Gov. Hickenlooper spoke of the significance of libraries in higher education.
“Libraries are more than a building, they’re really a doorway into that process of learning how to educate yourself,” Hickenlooper said.
Former CSU-Pueblo President Lt. Gov. Garcia encouraged students to use the library.
“We built this for you, so damn it get in and use it,” Garcia said.
Over 15 people helped with the ceremonial ribbon cutting to include dignitaries Lt. Gov. Garcia, Gov. Hickenlooper, Colorado third District Sen. Angela Giron and CSU Chancellor Blake which ended the ceremony.
Afterward, the crowd flooded the library where the new Café Libro sold coffee drinks supplied by Pueblo local business Solar Roast Coffee and pastries were also supplied by a local company, Country Oven Bakery.
The CSU-Pueblo music department supplied music as students, faculty, staff and community members wandered around the new building.
Three tours were given to showcase the technological upgrades, the environmental efforts to the project and the academic resource features within the building.
Upgrades to the LARC include windows adding plenty of light to the once dark structure, 17 study rooms, a 40-student classroom, a 75-student lecture hall, office spaces, a new computer lab and refurbished balconies enclosed in glass, among other upgrades.
Tim Sparks, a mass communications major, said he was impressed by the new features.
“Honestly, I was shocked at how awesome the interior is. The coffee was great and the computer lab is awesome. I can’t wait to use it,” Sparks said.
Along with the library collections, the LARC will now also house the First Year Center, the Career Center and Student Academic Services, which includes the Writing Room and the General Education Tutoring Center.
It will also be home to the Instructional Technology Center, as well as the TRiO Program, which includes Upward Bound, the Veteran’s Upward Bound Program and the Southern Educational Opportunity Center, which will be in the attached library wing.
The new library will now be open to students, staff and faculty throughout the school year. The OUC location is now closed.
The library hours for the remainder of the spring semester are as follows:
Monday – Thursday: 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Friday: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. -6 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m. -11 p.m.