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latimervincent Saint Vincent College
Rendering of expansion plans for the Latimer Family Library.

Saint Vincent College embarks on $22 million upgrade of library

The Latimer Family Library on the Latrobe, Pa., campus will be transformed into a learning and technology hub.

Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., is beginning a $22 million renovation and expansion of its 60-year-old Latimer Family Library.

The college held a groundbreaking ceremony for the project, which aims to transform the facility into a 21st-century learning commons and technology hub. 

The expanded library will incorporate the environmental sustainability standards established at the college's Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion and the Fred M. Rogers Center and will be LEED-certified.

The library was built at a cost of $600,000 in 1958. It was renovated at a cost of $5.1 million in 1998.

Construction, which is expected to be completed by August 2020, will take place in three phases. The library will continue providing its main services during phase one (May 2018 to Spring 2019) and phase three (Fall 2019 to Summer 2020). Library operations will be limited during phase two (Summer 2019).

The expanded building will be two stories high but will have three levels.

The lower level will have four new classrooms, a computer laboratory, service desk, open social space with barista café, writing and tutoring center, instructional technology offices, video production suite and small-group collaborative and study rooms.

The middle level will house an expanded circulation area for interlibrary loan and bibliographic instruction, conventional and compact stacks, small-group study rooms, printer-copier devices and an open social space at the entrance.

The top level will consist of solitary study spaces, group study rooms, library staff offices, three primary art galleries, a gallery video exhibit room and a rare book exhibition and storage area.

The original Saint Vincent Library collection began with fewer than 100 books that founder Boniface Wimmer brought with him from Germany in 1846.

The library's collection includes 271,000 books and periodicals, 99,000 microforms such as microfilm, microfiche and cards, 3,000 musical scores and more than 100 rare books that are at least 1,500 years old, including a copy of The Canterbury Tales produced in 1478 by the first printer in England, William Caxton.

The architect is MacLachlan, Cornelius and Filoni.

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