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Ozuna renovation to be completed by June 1

By Armando Padilla | Pulse Staff Reporter

As the Ozuna Library at Palo Alto College remains under construction, students doing research scramble to complete their assignments in a temporary location on the second floor of Brazos Hall.

Ernestina Mesa, dean of Learning Resources, said, “The students always come first.”

The library staff is catering to students’ needs by providing access to computers, copiers and studying facilities.

Operating with limited space on the second floor of Brazos Hall, four rooms have been assigned for library use: Library Administration in Room 204; Library Material (Reference, Borrow and Return) in Room 203; Research Services and Computer Access in Room 201; and a Quiet Room, added at students’ request, in Room 202. Library Hours are Sundays 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Mondays-Thursdays 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Fridays 8a.m. to 5p.m. The library is closed on Saturdays.

Additional computers are available in Portable Building Number 3, Rooms 109A-109B, for students and the public to use on Mondays through Thursdays from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition, a computer lab in Brazos, Room 201, is open from 1 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. on Sundays. Concho Hall, Room 104, is now available as a study room on Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Librarian Camille Fiorillo is ready to help students requesting library material on the Vanilla cart
Photo by A. Padilla

The mobile Library a la CARTE (a.k.a. “The Vanilla Cart”) has a laptop on board where students are able to research, request and return books. Upon filing a request form for a book at the Library Material in Room 203 or the “Vanilla Cart” parked in the courtyard by the Student Center (or inside the Student Center if weather is bad), students requesting material must wait while librarians arrange to be escorted into the construction site to pick up books four times a day.

Students may also acquire a TexShare Card that can be used in other cities, libraries, colleges and universities participating throughout the state. Access to the library’s databases is available 24/7 online, allowing students to do extensive research from any computer with Internet access.

Maribel and Eida, Education majors, are not happy with the temporary location. “It’s too small,” they said. They were not aware of the Quiet Rooms and are looking forward to using them.

Briana Castillo, a Preveterinary major, complained that the library is uncomfortably cold.

Christopher Delgado, director of Information & Communication Technology, is coordinating the renovation of the Ozuna, a two-story building that will now house the library on the second floor.

Delgado said, “The first floor will have an open computer lab upgrading from 74 computers to 200 for students’ use.”

Both floors should be completed by June 1, 2012. With all the electrical wiring going into the first floor, it could consume more time, according to Delgado.

“Every building has a lifespan of 15-20 years, and Ozuna is 13 years old. Funds were available and renovation was approved by President Guzmán,” said Delgado.

When the Ozuna Learning Center is complete, the floor stabilized, roof repaired and new double-paned windows installed, it will be a more energy-efficient building. Delays in window deliveries have not deterred the move-in goal of June 1.

“The student load is smaller during the summer. We will be able to set up and clean out the kinks, so that by the fall semester all bugs in the system will be gone,” said Delgado.

The Capital Improvement Project set a $7 million budget for maintenance, fixtures, taking care of the foundation, and the renovation of the Ozuna, Medina and San Jacinto buildings. The president asked Delgado to follow-up with CIP, with the contractors, on data lines, outlets, the right circuits and power and making sure that people get moved in.

Delgado said, “This will be maximizing our student services by giving the students more rooms. If we intend to double our enrollment, we have the room to grow.”