Windward CC celebrates Library Learning Commons grand opening

A grand opening as part of the celebration of the college's 40th anniversary will be held August 29

Windward Community College
Bonnie J Beatson, (808) 235-7374
Marketing & Public Relations Director, Windward Community College
Nancy Heu, (808) 235-7435
Head Librarian, Windward Community College
Posted: Aug 28, 2012

Windward Community College's new Library Learning Commons
Windward Community College's new Library Learning Commons
A long-awaited dream will become reality with the grand opening of Windward Community College’s new Library Learning Commons, a contemporary learning environment and the first green library in the University of Hawai‘i System, set for Wednesday, August 29, at 10 a.m. on the Kane‘ohe campus.
The grand opening, as part of the celebration of Windward Community College’s 40th year anniversary, will include music by The Royal Hawaiian Band from 9:30 to 10 a.m. followed by dedication speeches by University of Hawai‘i officials and legislators as well as students who helped mount a lobbying campaign to gain support for the new library.
Kahu David Kaupu, who blessed Windward Community College 40 years ago when the college first opened its doors, will perform the official blessing to welcome the public into the new Library Learning Commons, named Hale La‘akea, or “Hall of Enlightenment.”
At 11 a.m., a special time capsule dedication will take place inside the library, with a short ceremony that includes sealing the time capsule in a vault—complete with porthole and light for viewing—under the grand stairway. Students (some from the first graduating class of 1974), current college faculty and staff, and retirees have provided items for the time capsule.
The vault and time capsule will remain sealed for 20 years and will be opened in 2032. The vault allows the college to perpetually celebrate its history and accomplishments with future sealing and opening ceremonies.
Tours of the new building will be offered from noon until 2 p.m.
The three-story, 69,000 square-foot Library Learning Commons consolidates several campus services under one roof and replaces the current 80-year-old structure that has served as Windward's library since the college opened in 1972. The building was designed to encourage the use of natural daylight, allow for views of the surrounding natural beauty, blend with the existing architecture, integrate services supporting student success, and act as a focal building within the campus.
Sen. Jill Tokuda, chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee describes the library as “one of the crowning jewels of WCC’s campus and the Windward side.”
Designed by Architects Hawai‘i Ltd., the Library Learning Commons is a model of sustainability, according to Terry McFarland, lead architect for the project. The building’s special features that have earned a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification, include:
  • Storm water collection to maintain the native plants around the building
  • Waterless urinals
  • Photovoltaic panels, motion-activated sensors and high-efficiency light bulbs
  • Windows and skylights will provide natural light to 75 percent of the interior, along with high-efficiency glazing to reduce heat and glare
  • Recycling of resources from “deconstruction” of an older building, with an estimated 80 percent of materials diverted from the landfill and recycled on or off-campus.
  • High efficiency glazing will allow most of the light in while reducing solar radiation and heat gain.
The interior space has been designed for flexibility and comfort and to respond to current teaching methods that stress collaboration and interactive learning—including having a coffee shop and docking stations for laptop computers.
Some of the exciting new features include:
  • A pedestrian mall with colonnaded walkways, tiled roofs, low building massing, shaded lanai, and landscaping.
  • A coffee shop on the main floor is situated close to Palikū Theatre (and will offer Grand Opening specials on coffee, caramel frappe and lychee iced tea until September 30).
  • A 15,301-square-foot lower floor area includes a periodicals lounge, computer classroom, study areas, media instruction, computing services and electronic tech support including computer plug-ins.
  • A 22,077-square-foot area includes book stacks, a staff workroom, Hawaiian collection and conference rooms.
The new facility is a far cry from the cramped, leaky space the college has lived with for the past 40 years. It was these conditions that spurred a coalition of students, faculty, staff and community members to start a campaign in support of a new building.
Nancy Heu, Windward CC’s head librarian, said, “I am truly grateful to all the students, faculty, staff, community members and legislators who have poured their hearts and souls into getting this new building for the college and the whole Windward side,” and added, “E komo mai – we welcome everyone to our beautiful new library and the services that support our students and community.”
“So many people have worked together to make this building a reality,” said Windward CC Chancellor Doug Dykstra. “This grand opening celebration is a testament to our commitment to higher education and to teaching, learning, cultural enrichment and service.”