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
- It provides some 120,000 square feet of space especially created to serve as the heart of the 21st Century interactive university--Marshall University.
- It offers an ultramodern, nationally prominent library/information center focusing on undergraduate education and will include open stacks, abundance of computerized workstations for students, a 24-hour reading/computing lab, 250 individual study areas, two high technology presentation rooms, the university's computing center and media services. It will be a focal point for the entire campus.
- It serves as the heart of a Southern West Virginia interactive learning resource which will be hardwired into every high school in this part of the state, providing unique, technologically sophisticated learning resources to schools and public libraries alike.
- Because of recent developments with the VTLS library software used by all public libraries and most public college libraries in West Virginia, this facility will be the key to a virtual library system that will help set national standards well into the 21st Century.
- As a result of the shifting of undergraduate learning resources to the facility, the university was able to accomplish two additional objectives: (1) The existing library can be retrofitted within the project budget to serve as a unique location for government documents, special collections, research materials and remote storage and (2) the resituating of campus grounds, including parking and access for the handicapped to university central facilities, was accomplished.
- This facility is the heart of a 21st Century electronic community which will include schools, hospitals, businesses and governmental units in the Charleston-Huntington area and all of Southern West Virginia. Through partnerships with the Huntington and Charleston CLIN organizations, the 2,000-mile fiber optic system Huntington now enjoys, full partnership with Bell Atlantic West Virginia, the $10 million NSF-funded Appalachian Learning Systems (ALS) recently awarded to Marshall (and the University of Kentucky and Appalachian State University), the facility truly is the engine which drives education, health care and economic development in the region for decades to come.
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.
The Library/Information Center floors will contain the following:
- Main Entrance
- Reference Services and Collections
- Circulation Services
- After-hours Study/Computer Lab
- 24-hour Cafe
- Special Training Room
- Library Public Services Administration
- Telecommunications Support Facility
- Open Stacks/Study Area
- Lobby and Student Lounge
- Study Rooms (small, medium, large)
- Media Services
- Staff Lounge
- Open Stacks/Study Areas and Rooms
- 30 Seat Presentation Room
- Computer Services Directors Suite
- Library Director's Suite
- Information Officer's Suite
- Library Technical Service Area
- Student/Faculty, Computer/Multimedia Research
- 2 Conference Rooms
- 60 Seat Presentation Room
- Computer Center Operations
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.