Los Angeles City College will soon embark on the
construction of a new library on its East Hollywood campus. It will replace
the old one on the quad which was built in the mid-30s, with additions from
The new library will be located on the north end of the campus, along
Willowbrook Avenue near Vermont, on the site of the current men’s gymnasium
and former athletic field. It will be conveniently located near the Santa
Monica-Vermont Metro stop.
Designed by Steinberg Architects, the building will be three stories high.
The building is being funded with approximately $20 million from the State
and $1.8 million from Prop A funds. Groundbreaking will occur in the fall of
this year and the building should be completed by early 2008.
“The new library will be much more pleasant for the students,” said Barbara
Vasquez, library chairperson. “It will be a lot more intuitive as to where
things are, with more outdoor light from expansive windows. Because of its
shape, all interior spaces will be near windows, even the study rooms. And
the second and third floors will have nice views of downtown. There will be
improved safety features. And the furniture will be more ergonomic. Also
there’ll be more study rooms to accommodate the demands of the students.”
The new structure will have a long and narrow shape, 300 feet long and 60
feet wide, with 64,000 square feet of space, which is equivalent to the old
one. With a staff of 14 librarians and library technicians, the library will
house 150,000 books, with computerized databases for newspaper and magazine
research. The college newspaper, The Collegian, will also be on line. There
will be ample internet connections, both for hardwired and wireless
The first floor will house the circulation desk, periodicals, the reference
desk with 36 adjacent computers, an archive room, and a computer classroom.
The second floor will house 126 computers, one third of the book stacks,
eight group study rooms, plus individualized study areas. The remainder of
the books will be housed on the third floor, with nine group study rooms, an
additional computer classroom, a conference room and individual study areas
with carrels and tables.
The new building will have a faux-brick facade that will complement the look
of the nearby brick-clad communications building. It will also have many
windows. The interior decorations will include blue carpeting, furniture
made of light wood with a deep navy inset that will resist marring, and
ergonomic chairs. The book stacks will have metallic gray shelving and the
lounge chairs will be lime green with navy accents. The building will have
state-of-the-art air conditioning and the ceilings are being designed to
expose the ductwork and lighting. Two public elevators, a separate elevator
for book carts, as well as a number of stairways will also be incorporated
into the design.
The new library building will take the name of the old one with it: the
Martin Luther King, Jr., Library. An engraving of the text of Dr. King’s “I
Have a Dream” speech will be placed on a first floor window next to the
The lead architect is Gilbert Rocca. Steinberg Architects has offices
located in Los Angeles, San Jose and San Francisco. The firm has designed
other buildings for the LA Community College District, as well as libraries
throughout the world, including one in New Zealand.
To prepare the site for construction, the men’s gym will be taken down later
this summer. During the construction phase, the old library will still be in
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