Submitted by Marisela Cadena-Smith, Collin College
Students at Collin College had cause for celebration as the highly- anticipated, new library at the Spring Creek Campus in Plano opened on the first day of the spring semester.
The new two-story, 88,000-square foot structure added much-needed classroom space and created a new front door for the campus, facing Jupiter Road, with majestic architecture inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s design for the University of Virginia.
“This new library is a triumph for our master expansion plan, which spanned four locations over the course of a decade,” said Mac Hendricks, who chairs the Collin College Board of Trustees. “This forever changes the face of Spring Creek Campus and eastern Plano.”
The new library building and renovation of space in the original building will yield 16 classrooms, dozens of faculty offices and three times as many study rooms—space that is likely to fill quickly with student demand. The expansion follows the design plan completed at the college’s Preston Ridge Campus in Frisco in 2005 and Central Park Campus in McKinney in 2010, with libraries constructed as the centerpieces of the campuses.
“The Spring Creek Campus was originally built to accommodate 7,000 students, and in fall 2012, the college squeezed in 13,188 students with creative scheduling, like Weekend College,” Cary Israel, the district president of Collin College, said. “This is the most significant expansion to the Spring Creek Campus since it opened 24 years ago.”
The facade of the new library features striking classic stone columns and brick accents. Inside, a grand reading room capped by a 60-foot dome overlooks a grassy courtyard. Classrooms, study rooms, faculty offices and an instructional design center are located on the second floor.
One unique feature of the new library building is a mock trial courtroom, where aspiring student attorneys from Collin College’s mock trial team can learn to plead cases in front of the bench, complete with audio and video. The courtroom can also be converted into a large, general-purpose classroom for courses like speech and broadcasting.
The area the library previously called home will be renovated and repurposed. This phase of construction, which is now in progress, will add classrooms and space for Honors Institute classes, a veterans’ resource office, computer labs, writing and math labs, tutoring, conference rooms, a new print shop and a counseling area. It will also relocate facilities for students with disability service needs. Additional projects include an American Sign Language lab, widening of the main stairways to accommodate increased enrollment, a refurbished atrium and new police offices.
The college is also converting existing space for two new science labs for courses in environmental science, biology and microbiology.
Patrons of the college will have VIP access to the library at the college’s annual scholarship fundraiser on Sat., Feb. 23. The event, titled the Stetson & Stiletto Standoff, is a Texas and Collin County trivia competition, hosted in the reading room of the library. Sponsorships are still available by calling 972.599.3145.
The Spring Creek Campus library hours are from 7:45 a.m.-9:45 p.m. on Monday-Thursday; 7:45 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday; and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday.
For more information about the Spring Creek Campus library, call 972.881.5860 or visit www.collin.edu.