Information hub

The University of Southern Indiana, Evansville, recently opened its $26.3 million David L. Rice Library. As the tallest building on campus, this five-level library/classroom building is twice the size of its former location.

In addition to the traditional library functions, this facility is the campus' information hub with both wireless and wired access; laptops available for checkout; self-check stations on every floor; and off-campus access for the online catalog, e-reserves and most research databases. The lower level contains a 125-seat auditorium and 16 classrooms with a separate outside entrance for secure 24/7 access.

A Starbucks coffee shop is just inside the main entry and is equipped with wired and wireless access, as well as a variety of seating areas. Although situated within the new facility, it is zoned outside of the security parameters of the library functions, allowing for alternative hours of operation and special events.

On the exterior, a limestone relief hangs on the rotunda depicting the liberal-arts center that is situated just west of the library and various items used by today's students. The design intent was to create a view of the campus as seen from the window of the new building. John McNaughton and Katie Waters, two USI professors, collaborated on the design of the relief.

Woollen, Molzan and Partners (Indianapolis, Ind.) served as design architect, in collaboration with Hafer Associates (Evansville, Ind.), architect of record.

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