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Coast To Coast

Coast To Coast

Thursday, December 13, 2007

new library exterior

Orange Coast College's spectacular $33-million Library is preparing to open its doors to students and the public on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008.

OCC begins its four-week winter intersession Jan. 2. The Library will open again for the start of spring semester classes on Monday, Jan. 28. A formal dedication ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 10 a.m.

OCC broke ground on the facility in March of 2006.

The two-story, 88,777-square-foot facility, which is the largest building on campus, replaces the college's Norman E. Watson Library. Watson Library closed more than five years ago, and was completely renovated and re-opened in October of 2006 as the Watson Hall Enrollment Center.

OCC "temporarily" relocated its library to a 25,000-square-foot facility – consisting of 32 interlocking portable structures – situated on the northern perimeter of the campus.

OCC's first Library, in 1948, was a converted Santa Ana Army Air Base barracks building. The second Library, which opened in 1951, was the graceful clock-tower building that still sits in the quad today. Later it served as the Admissions, Records and Counseling Building, and currently is a "surge" structure for campus construction projects. With all the barracks gone, it is the oldest building on campus.

In 1969, OCC opened its third Library facility. The four-storied Norman E. Watson Library, located north of the college's Student Center, closed in 2000. It underwent an extended renovation process and reopened last fall as the Norman E. Watson Enrollment Center.

In 2000, the Library was temporarily relocated to a 25,000-square-foot facility, located to the north and west of LeBard Stadium. OCC's fifth Library is located on the opposite side of the campus, next to the Arts Center and Doyle Arts Pavilion.

Architect for the project is tBP Architects of Newport Beach. C.W. Driver has managed the construction process.

Approximately $21 million of the funding has come from state capital outlay funds. Slightly more than $12 million has been provided by Measure C, which was approved by local voters on the November 2002 ballot.

OCC's new Library will have the capacity to store 128,000 volumes of books, periodicals and other media. The 1951 Library contained 5,000 volumes, and the 1969 Library held 40,000.

In addition to the circulation and reference area, the new building houses 10 private group study rooms, a large open study area for over 100 students, two computer areas with more than 60 workstations, a "new book" reading room, and four media viewing rooms.