It’s ‘filet mignon’ as construction of new library and learning commons officially begins

new library


The groundbreaking ceremony for a four-story, energy conscious library and learning commons—to be completed on North Campus by late 2012—took place on December 7.

Speaking to a standing-room only gathering at the Ellison Campus Center, Salem State student trustee Angel Donahue-Rodriguez ’12 quoted from a Boston Globe Magazine article about funding for public higher education that asked whether Massachusetts would have 'steak or macaroni.' "Today we're getting steak," he said. "I guess you could say we're getting filet mignon."

Critical to student success, the 124,000-square-foot facility replaces the university’s former library on Lafayette Street, which was closed in October 2007 out of structural safety concerns. The new facility will include instructional laboratories and study areas for 1,000 students.

"It's really more than just brick and mortar," Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll ’89 said. "It's an investment in the campus. It's an investment in the North Shore region. Most importantly, it's an investment in a city whose greatest asset is its brainpower.

In addition to Driscoll and Rodriguez, speakers included Patricia Maguire Meservey, president, Salem State University; Jacob S. Segal, chair, Salem State University Board of Trustees; David B. Perini, commissioner, Division of Capital Asset Management; Paul Reville, secretary, Executive Office of Education; Charles Desmond, chair, Massachusetts Board of Higher Education; Richard M. Freeland, commissioner, Massachusetts Board of Higher Education; John D. Keenan, state representative, Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and Sidney R. Bowen III, AIA, managing principal, Shepley Bulfinch.

For the project, Massachusetts has earmarked funding as part of a $2 billion Higher Education Bond Bill.

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