[ Skip to content ] [ Text Only Libraries Homepage ]

Drinko Library - Construction Project


Marshall University is in the seventh year of developing plans for a major new initiative for 21st Century Library/Information Center which began in earnest in August, 1991 when Dr. J. Wade Gilley assumed the Marshall presidency. The project had tremendous support of students, faculty and alumni of the university as well as business, political and civic leaders from the Huntington community, the Tri-State Area and, in fact, all of Southern West Virginia.

Planning was virtually complete and the university accepted bids for the construction of the new library/information center in July 1996. Marshall received an additional $6 million from the state funds provided through Senate Bill 449.

At that point, the project evolved into an overall $29 million effort which will provide a new undergraduate library/information center as a campus focal point, resituating of the existing Morrow Library as a specialized library/learning center and equipping of the new center with state-of-the-art information technology infrastructure. A committee designated by Dr. Gilley will designate the space assignments and utilization of the Morrow Library.

The seven-year planning effort included the library and computer center staffs, University Library Committee, the Student Government, the Faculty Senate, the Staff Council, the Institutional Board of Advisors, the Library Associates, the Alumni Association, the Marshall Foundation Inc., the City of Huntington, and many other groups. The project was first authorized by the West Virginia Legislature in the 1994 session when the university was granted approval to issue bonds and use those funds in the construction of the library/information center. The Board of Trustees has approved the project on several occasions, including the granting of $100,000 to the university to employ architects in January 1993. Senator Robert C. Byrd was able to secure a $5 million grant for the project in 1994.

The Planning Process

This was one of the most extensive planning processes in the history of higher education. In addition to all of the internal planning processes over the seven years, Marshall called on Dr. Don Riggs, dean of libraries at the University of Michigan, a native West Virginian and one the nation's leading university librarians, as a primary consultant. Dr. Riggs provided his services at no cost to the university. Further, Geoffrey Freeman of the Boston architectural firm of Shepley, Bullfinch, Richardson and Abbott, a nationally prominent library/computer center architectural firm, was the initial consultant when the program/plan was converted to architectural terms. Then a national competition was held to select the architectural firm to prepare the plans and three of the leading firms in the nation were finalists for the project. The firm of Perry, Dean, Rogers and Partners of Boston was selected and has worked closely with university officials and faculty in the design, which is now complete.

The Project Objectives

One of the key elements of the 21st Century vision of Marshall University as outlined in university documents, including the SB 547-required five-year strategic plan, is the commitment that Marshall is to be "one of the most technologically sophisticated universities of its size and type in the nation." The library/information center project is the core of that effort.

The library/information center project accomplishes the following objectives:

The Mission Statement

The facility is critical for Marshall to fulfill its mission as the interactive university for Southern West Virginia. As such, it is clearly consistent with the university's mission statement. In 1993, the students of Marshall University approved a new Library/Computing fee to support the university's initiatives in these areas, including providing support for the facility.

Northcott Hall was torn down in 1996 for the construction of the John Deaver Drinko Library.

Floor Design

The Library/Information Center floors will contain the following:

First Floor:

Second Floor:

Third Floor:

Fourth Floor:


Feb. 1994: Marshall receives $100,000 from the state to begin architectural plans for a new library

Aug. 1994: A six-member committee is appointed by MU President J. Wade Gilley to assist with the selection of an architect for the new library.

Feb. 1995: The firm of Perry, Dean, Rogers and Partners, which is based in Boston, Mass., is chosen to design the library.

Sept. 1995: After $10 million in bonds are approved by the University System Board of Trustees, and the school receives a $5 million federal grant, Gilley launches a campaign to raise $7 million for the library. He announces that 53,000 letters and brochures will be mailed to MU alumni throughout the country.

Nov. 1995: Marshall alumnus John Deaver Drinko, who requests anonymity at the times, promises to give $1 million for the library project if the university raises $3 million on its own.

Aug. 1996: State approves $6 million in bond money for the library, and a University System Board of Trustees committee gives the school the go ahead to award a construction contract to DICK Enterprises to build the new library.

Sept. 1996: Constructions begins.

Nov. 1996: Library named for John Deaver Drinko.

Oct. 1998: At a cost of more than $31 million, the John Deaver Drinko Library opens for business.

Marshall University Libraries | Telephone: 304-696-2320 | Suggestion, Comment, or Complaint?

Copyright ©2008 Marshall University. All Rights Reserved. Marshall University - One John Marshall Drive - Huntington, WV 25755.

View Mission Statement, Site Disclaimer, or Privacy Policy for more information. Access Text Only Version of site.

Library Site Search
Link to Electronic Directory Link to Contact Information Link to Campus Map Link to Site Index