South library nears completion

The Parker Williams Library at San Jacinto College South Campus is nearing completion of renovations that will give the facility an updated look.


South campus Reference Librarian Jane Stimpson said the renovations began May, 2013.


“They’re really close to being done. Right now, it looks like all they’re doing is mostly cosmetic work,” Stimpson said.


Along with the addition of bright and colorful design elements, Stimpson said the library expanded in several ways.


“One of the great things is now we have more study rooms,” Stimpson said. “Previously we had about, maybe, seven study rooms and they were really small. Most of them could only fit about one or two people.”


Now, Stimpson said the library has about a dozen study rooms that can accommodate up to six people, in addition to new spaces dedicated to student instruction.


“One of the things I’m happiest about is we have a new library classroom,” Stimpson said.


According to Stimpson, the old classroom used for teaching students how to conduct research was just a room with chairs.


“But now we have this nice new room,” Stimpson said. “It has computers for everybody. There’s lots of natural light in it, so it’s a really nice classroom space.”


Moreover, South campus Library Director Richard McKay said the updates should accommodate students’ needs into the foreseeable future.


“We’re already seeing lots more students in the building than we did before the renovation,” McKay said. “The project was a complete success, and I couldn’t be happier with the results.”


However, South campus’s library is not the only one undergoing a makeover.


“Central had a much more extensive renovation than we did,” Stimpson said. “We have stayed in this building while it’s been renovated. The Central campus had to move totally out of their building.”


Central campus’s Lee Davis Library was relocated to the second floor of the Frels Building during construction.


Head of Public Services for Lee Davis Library John Brower said, “The renovation is almost complete. We anticipate reopening on June 2.”


Meanwhile, Jan Crenshaw, the director for North campus’s Edwin E. Lehr Library said their facility will not be renovated because they are scheduled to receive a brand new building.


“This building was built on top of an aquifer and is very, very slowly breaking up,”

Crenshaw said. “It was decided that it would be wiser to build a new, smaller building instead.”


Crenshaw said the new building will be located at the juncture between the North campus Welcome Center and the Brightwell Technical building.


“The College’s Board has just approved the plan for the building and the rest of the year will be dedicated to determining the interior, furnishings, and the maximum cost,” Crenshaw said. “The result of this work will be submitted to the Board for approval in either February or March, 2015.”


In addition to wrapping up the renovations, the Parker William’s Library staff is set to partner, for the second year, with South campus’s Office of Student Life and First Year Experience for a Finals Week event.


South campus First Year Experience Coordinator Holly Williams said BLAST Off! To Finals began, “…as a way to help promote healthy study habits for students preparing for final exams.”


This year, Williams said, BLAST stands for “Buttons, Lollipops, Activities, Snacks, and Touch.” During Finals Week, students can create buttons, participate in stress-relieving activities, and snack on candy and chips, Williams said.


BLAST Off! To Finals will take place daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., April 28 through May 1, in the Parker Williams Library.