Northwest Indian College continues work on new campus library

Northwest Indian College plans to begin construction on its 12,710-square-foot Coast Salish Institute Building in May, while work continues on a nearly $3 million library and technology building that broke ground in February.

The library will be the eighth building constructed on NWIC’s main campus as a result of the college’s $44 million capital campaign, which began in 2005.

The building is scheduled to be completed by January 2014. The Coast Salish Institute Building is expected to be finished by June 2014.

In the almost 11,000-square-foot library and technology facility, which was designed by Zervas Group Architects, the northern section of the building will house the college’s IT department, staff work rooms, labs and offices. The southern portion will house traditional library spaces, teens’ and children’s rooms, special collections, study areas and a large open space with books and magazine stacks.

Valerie McBeth, NWIC’s library director, said that while she will miss aspects of her current space, which was built around 1930, she and her staff are excited for the new building.

“Things will be a lot more convenient,” McBeth said, in a press release. “The layout is going to be much nicer and we will again be located back in the center of campus activity. With so much having moved to the new campus, we are now on the periphery.”

In the new building, the library will be brought under a single story and will have more space. NWIC’s library occupies less than 5,000 square feet now, and will fill 6,500 square feet in the new building.

Thanks to that extra space and to what will be a better use of space, the library will be able to expand its computer lab, offer more seating for quiet study, and have a room specifically for the personal library of Vine Deloria, Jr. The new building will also help bring NWIC’s technology infrastructure up to date. One of the biggest technological benefits to the campus community, according to NWIC IT Director Mike James, will be the new generator, which will allow NWIC servers to stay up and running 24/7.

The college currently does not have a generator and the system in place only lasts about 10 minutes. This leads to disruptions in service. With the generator in place, there will be much fewer disruptions and those disruptions won’t be very significant.

The other major benefit will be the increased fiber connection between north and south campus, which is currently at one gigabit per second. Right now there are seven buildings on the south side of campus sharing a single gigabit connection, which causes network lag between north and south campus because that one gig is spread too thin.

Funding for the building came from generous contributions by the U.S. Department of Education, Lummi Indian Business Council, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Tribal Colleges and Universities Program.

Floor plan rendering courtesy of Northwest Indian College (Click to enlarge)


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