“[The library] will lead to an expansion of the usable space in the library,” KSU President Daniel S. Papp said at the groundbreaking. “Plans include repurposing space on the ground floor and on the first floor, a new front entrance will be added to ... make the entrance more inviting ... and on top of that we’ll also be upgrading the furnishings in the building because a lot of folks, myself included, [feel] a comfortable place for studying is a place where studying gets done a lot.”
He continued, “The bottom line is this renovation will allow Kennesaw State to better preserve and more widely share our books, our documents and our audio/visual materials.”
The project will expand the current 104,000-square-foot facility by 1,600 square feet and is expected to open in spring 2015.
According to a press release, “For two months after the campus initially opened on Jan. 9, 1967, the library was temporarily housed in the physics lab in the old Science Building, which is now today’s Mathematics and Statistics Building. The original library, now known as the Pilcher Building, was completed on March 16, 1967.
“The current facility opened in 1981, housing 94,000 volumes. It was designed to meet the informational needs of a campus with a student population of about 5,000. The building later was named for the University’s first president, Horace W. Sturgis, who died on Jan. 16, 1990 — the year in which the library was named in his honor. Sturgis was a strong supporter of the library and believed its existence was essential for Kennesaw State to become a four-year college.
“Plans for the project include repurposing the space on the ground floor and first floor of the library, upgrading the mechanical/electrical infrastructure, and updating the library’s furnishings to provide more learning and engagement spaces to enhance student success. The renovation also will allow the University to better preserve and more widely share its most distinguished books, documents and audiovisual material.
“The renovation portion of the project will provide essential improvements to enable the faculty to better meet critical academic needs, improving functionality, while reducing operating costs and enhancing energy efficiency. A new main entrance on the building’s east side will improve accessibility.”
David Evans, who serves as dean and assistant vice president for library services, said the expansion of the college’s library also provides more opportunities for residents in neighboring communities to access some of the materials available from the school.
“The one thing that really makes us open to the public is we are a government documents depository and by being a depository, we agreed to make sure these resources were available to everyone,” Evans said.
School officials reported of the more than 24,000 students who attend KSU, more than 600 were from Bartow County in fall 2012. There has been a 14 percent increase in Bartow County residents attending the college over the past five years.
Other Founders Week festivities included breaking ground on the $38.7 million Dr. Betty L. Siegel Student Recreation and Activities Center.
Kapp said the school appreciates the aid of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and the Georgia General Assembly, which provided the funding for the project.