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CONTACT: Bruce Smith
Public Information
(310) 434-4209
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: Sept. 25, 2003
www.smc.edu

HUELL HOWSER TO SPEAK AT LIBRARY GRAND OPENING OCT. 14
$23.6 Million Expansion, Modernization Project Celebrated

(NOTE: Excellent jpeg images of the Library’s interior and exterior are available on request.)
Television personality and reporter
Huell Howser – best known for his “California Gold” series – will be the guest speaker at the Grand Opening ceremony for the $23.6 million Santa Monica College Library Expansion and Modernization project.

The ceremony will be held at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14 in front of the Library, located on SMC’s main campus at 1900 Pico Blvd.

The long-awaited $23.6 million project – which took two years to complete but which has been in the planning stages for more than a decade – nearly doubles the size of the facility and provides widespread Internet access. The project is drawing praise for its architectural design and state-of-the-art features.

“Santa Monica College now has a truly spectacular library with plenty of study space, Internet access at most study stations, three times as many computer stations, group study rooms and almost all new furniture,” said Mona Martin, assistant dean of learning resources. “The facility will dramatically enhance the lives of our students.”

Designed by Anshen + Allen of Los Angeles, the project expanded the Library from 55,000 to 96,500 square feet, increased seating from 550 to 1,300, increased the number of computer stations from 65 to 220, added 21 group study rooms, and added data port and power outlets at most of the study carrels and tables throughout the building. In addition, the project included seismic retrofitting and a redesign of the exterior, with landscaping, benches, lighting and more.

The metal-glass-concrete building – whose architectural style is similar to SMC’s Anshen + Allen-designed Science Complex – also features major interior changes. Dark gray countertops are constructed from Ceasarstone, white oak is the predominant wood found throughout, and new carpeting has been installed. With three stories divided into five levels, the Library features plentiful skylights and atriums, giving the structure an open and airy feel. The centerpiece for the new section of the Library is an elliptical wood-paneled “building-within-a-building,” flanked at the north end by a dramatic three-story glass elevator tower.

An enclosed photo-copy center has been added, as have faculty librarian offices, a computer-equipped conference center, curriculum development room, archives room, 47-station computerized library instruction classroom, and more.

The Library, which was built in 1980, has been one of the most highly used facilities on campus. Before the project, space was so tight that students often studied on the floor or even in the elevator. In addition, the library sustained damage from the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

The project is the final one to receive funding from SMC’s Proposition T bond, which was passed by Santa Monica-Malibu voters in 1992. It received $6 million from Proposition T, $14.8 million in state funds, and $2.8 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Howser, whose folksy style as host of KCET’s “California Gold” program has endeared him to viewers throughout Southern California, has been working as a television journalist in Los Angeles since 1981. He has been with KCET since 1987, where he was first brought on to produce the Emmy-nominated series “Videolog.” He is a frequent speaker to civic and student groups and was the 1996 Honorary Chairman of the California PTA.

For information, call (310) 434-4303.

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