Posted Online: May 10, 2012, 6:47 pm

Augustana breaks ground on $20M student center

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By Anthony Watt, awatt@qconline.com

More photos from this shoot
Photo: John Greenwood
Members of the Augustana College board of trustees participate in a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday afternoon for the transition of Augustana’s Thomas Tredway Library to a new Center for Student Life. Scores of people came out to celebrate the expansion and transition. Breaking ground include, from left, Carla Tracy-Library director, Jim Russell, President Steve Bahls, Matt Paris-student government president, Steve Oliver-BLDD architects, Lynn Jackson-Vice-President, Advancement, Mayor Dennis Pauley, Cameron Onumah- student government president-elect, Kim Brunner-board chairman, Evelyn Campbell-dean of students, Pareena Lawrence-dean of the college and Kent Barnds-Vice-President of the college.
Augustana College made its goal of a new student center official Thursday with a groundbreaking ceremony.

About 100 faculty, staff, students and members of the Quad-Cities community attended the ceremony on the west side of the Thomas Tredway Library where a portion of the $20 million 35,000-square-foot Center for Student Life is planned.

They watched as a number of people -- including W. Kent Barnds, Augustana's vice president of enrollment, communication and planning, and Rock Island Mayor Dennis Pauley -- turned the first earth with gold-colored shovels.

"May this building, when it is constructed, be a place where our students continue to grow in mind, body and spirit," said Augustana President Steven C. Bahls.

In January, college officials announced Augustana's board of trustees had approved the design and financing for the project, which includes renovating 39,000 square feet of the library. Augustana wants to centralize many of the functions related to students in one place, Mr. Barnds has said previously.

Several different services -- including the main dining area, diversity services and student activities such as Greek Council and the Multicultural Programming Board -- will be in the new building or parts of the library's fourth and fifth floors.

Part of the fourth floor will contain the student activities office, the diversity services office, the reading and writing center, a coffee shop, a classroom and a new activities room, Mr. Barnds said. The fifth floor will be devoted to the dining area.

The first three floors and a portion of the fourth floor will remain for library use. They also will will get new paint and fixtures and some renovation, Mr. Barnds said.

To accommodate the changes, the library's book collection is being consolidated, Mr. Barnds said. Books still will be on every floor, but a substantial part of the collection will be on the first floor in more efficient shelving. The college also will review books that have not seen much use to determine if they should be removed. All removals will require faculty consultation.

During the project, Augustana will try to avoid service disruptions by doing portions that might cause interruptions when classes are not being held, Mr. Barnds said. Work is expected to start May 21 on tasks such as removing trees and site preparation. Excavation for the addition is scheduled to start June 11.

The first-floor remodel is scheduled to begin May 21 and be completed by July 27, Augustana officials said. Moving the special collections section is expected to be done by July 27.

The project, scheduled to be completed by Aug. 1, 2013, is being built to the U.S. Green Building Council LEED Standard. Companies taking part in the project include architectural firm Shepley Bulfinch, BLDD Architects and Russell Construction. Rippe & Associates consulted on food service aspects of the design and BRB Architects helped plan the space.