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Belk Library and Information Commons’ green design recognized in national publications

BelkLibrary_t.jpgBOONE – Carol Grotnes Belk Library and Information Commons at Appalachian State University has been recognized for its green architectural design by two leading library magazines.

The April 2008 issue of American Libraries included Belk Library among 27 facilities spotlighted in its “2008 Library Design Showcase.” The magazine featured libraries that “demonstrate a commitment to making a beautiful space that serves both the community and the planet.” American Libraries is the magazine of the American Library Association.

Belk Library was also included in the December 2007 issue of Library Journal, which highlighted 21 academic buildings and 168 public library projects in an article titled “Going, Going Green.”

Library Journal described Belk Library as “a 21st-century facility that combines the best of technology with the expertise to retrieve and validate its information. The central atrium is the focal point of the new four-story structure, built with environmental sensibility and sustainability in mind.”

The green features of Belk Library include an emphasis on natural lighting as well as advanced mechanical equipment for energy savings, cork flooring, energy-efficient elevator system, electronic sensor faucets and toilets, computer-controlled shades and recycled/recyclable carpeting.

“We are proud of this national recognition of Appalachian’s bright and spacious Carol Grotnes Belk Library and Information Commons, and we are thrilled that students are using the facility’s great study spaces, technology and information resources in greater and greater numbers each year,” said University Librarian Mary Reichel.

“Library personnel were proud to work with the university’s Office of Design and Construction, which led the way in making the new library as environmentally sound as possible. We know students appreciate this guardianship of the environment as well,” she said.

Belk Library and Information Commons opened in summer 2005. It has 221,000 square feet, making it about 50 percent larger than the 1960s structure it replaced. The $37.5 million building was designed by Pease Associates Inc. and Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott.

The library’s construction was funded through the 2000 bond referendum in which North Carolina voters approved $3.1 billion for capital construction and renovation on UNC campuses and at the state’s community colleges.

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