$23.1 million facility becomes the center of campus learning

Location: 2277 Napa-Vallejo Highway, Napa 94558; napavalley.edu/library

Owner and developer: Napa Valley College

Description: 60,000-square-foot library and learning center

Completion: June 2010

Architect: TLCD Architecture, Santa Rosa

General contractor: Edge Development, Temecula

Engineer: Thornton-Tomasetti, San Francisco

Project cost: $23.1 million

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NAPA -- The 60,000-square-foot, two-story library and learning center at Napa Valley College opened this fall and replaced the original 21,000-square-foot facility in June of this year.

The McCarthy Library & Media Center, named after Chris McCarthy, former president of the college who passed away in September of 2009, is located at the southeastern side of the campus.

Napa Valley College does not normally name buildings after people, said Dan TerAvest, the director of campus planning. “But Chris was special and really believed in the project,” he said.

The library has 500 reader stations, 200 of them with computers; wireless Internet access; more than 54,000 books; nearly 297 print periodical titles; and a large collection of reserve items, including reading materials for various classes.

There is a testing and tutoring center, instructional media production facilities, 30 media viewing stations, group study rooms and a cafe. The facility is open to the public as well as students.

The technology of the learning center is state-of-the-art.

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Electronic databases provide access to a number of full-text journals, newspapers and magazine articles.

The cost of the project was $23.1 million. That is a portion of the $133.8 million Measure N bond passed by the community in 2002.

The three main projects that came out of the bond are the library, the gym and the performing arts center.

The old library was one-third the size and did not meet the state standards. In recognition of the school’s need, the state put forth funds to help match college dollars for construction of the library and learning resource center.

The library offers advantages to students and other library users through the college's long-time membership in two library consortia: the Solano, Napa and Partners Consortium, and the North Bay Cooperative Library System. Three million items from the combined collections of the consortium members, including the media centers of the two academic library members, are represented in an online catalog searchable via the Web.

Designed by TLCD Architecture of Santa Rosa, it has space to house 80,000 books -- twice the number of the old library.

[caption id="attachment_27996" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="A view of the library interior (click to enlarge)"][/caption]

The library has become the hub of the college campus. The building and plaza act as a gathering space where people come from on and off campus.

The McCarthy Library supports the mission and programs of the junior college through the acquisition and management of academic information resources, the development of information fluency and by providing excellent service to library users.

The institution’s statement about the facility declares:

“Napa Valley College is a community of people excited about learning, where students are first and foremost in everything we do. We value, model and encourage: student success, honesty, creativity, integrity, adaptability, inclusivity, responsibility, openness to new ideas, respect for others and health and wellness.

“The McCarthy Library is committed to these core values: the advancement of learning and literacy, the cause of intellectual freedom, the right to freedom of inquiry and unfettered access to recorded knowledge and information.”