In a few months, University of Houston-Victoria students will be able to look out the large windows of the new library and be able to see portions of Victoria as they study.
“It’s come a long way,” Crystal Rocha, the coordinator with the capital projects and construction of UHV, said as she looked around the University Commons building. “We’re really excited to see it complete and have the library open for students.”
The new UHV library is still under construction as crews work to have the library and portions of the University Commons open for students.
So far, most of the library’s books have moved into the new space, which is divided between the second and third floors of the new building. University Commons is located on North Ben Wilson Street across from the UHV University Center. The library will serve both UHV and Victoria College students and will also be open to the general public, said Lauren Emerson, a communications specialist with the university.
Within the library space, there will be several rooms for studying, projects and instruction, said Rocha. There will also be 18 collaboration rooms for students within the new building.
Computers will also be available for student use along the east side of the library as well as individual study areas where students can have a personal space to work on their own laptops, Rocha said.
Outside the library, there will be areas where tables will be open for students to study and meet, including a balcony area on the third floor of the center.
“There will be several areas for students to collaborate in the new building,” Rocha said.
Joe Dahlstrom, the UHV senior director of libraries, said the library staff is currently working from a computer lab in University Center and students are being directed to use online UHV library resources for now.
While most of the library’s collection will be moved to the new location, Dahlstrom said, some documents and books will be moved to the Northwest Campus near East Airline Road and North Laurent Street.
Dahlstrom said he is looking forward to the new library facility because it will be in the same place as a food court, the UHV bookstore, a game room, a multipurpose room, rooms for student life and offices for student services.
University officials have not set a date of when the library will be finished. University Commons, one of the campus projects, is expected to be finished by this fall.
“We should see an increase of traffic to the library, with everything the library has to offer and in the same facility where there will be food and games,” Dahlstrom said. “I think students will find the facility more attractive and more will probably find their way into the library.”
Christopher McDonald, the UHV Student Government Association president, said he has not seen what the building looks like inside but is looking forward to construction completion as well. The association will also have its own room in the new building, he said, which will have a printer and projector – resources the association didn’t have before, he said.
McDonald said students usually meet in other buildings or in student residence halls, but the new building will allow more students to meet and study in one place. The building will also allow for more collaboration between student organizations.
And, he said, more students who live off-campus will now have a spot to meet and study with other students.
“The whole building is something to look forward to,” McDonald said. “We’re going to start seeing change with this new building.”