The Lee Davis Library at the San Jacinto College Central Campus is up for a People's Choice Award in the Heritage Category through the Urban Land Institute (ULI).
Last year, the College made renovations to the 62,000-square-foot library to meet today's technological advances and learning culture while also keeping its Mid-Century architecture and some of the original furniture. Lee Davis Library now houses the campus' Honors lounge and student success center that includes four group study/tutoring rooms. There are 14 additional study rooms, a reference desk, library instruction lab, computer lab, and copy and printing stations. Updates of the electrical system, heating and air conditioning, and plumbing were done for energy efficiency. Fritted glass was added to the front of the building.
"It was very important to us to preserve the building's history, rather than tear it down and rebuild," said Bryan Jones, San Jacinto College associate vice chancellor of facilities and construction. Lee Davis Library first opened in 1966. "Important elements we wanted to keep included the grand staircase that sits in the middle of the library and the main lobby that is reminiscent of a university building."
The project architects and consultants for the renovation included Tellepsen Builders, Gensler, and Rizzo & Associates. Furniture coordination and planning were provided by Sylvia Hajo with Bay-IBI and Furniture Marketing Group.
Lee Davis Library was nominated alongside some of Houston's finest developments that exemplify best practices in design, construction, economic viability, community health, marketing and management in the region. The People's Choice Award recipient is voted on by the public on the ULI website. Being nominated is an honor, said Karen Blankenship, San Jacinto College library director.
"This renovation has been a wonderful experience, and we're already seeing the positive results," said Blankenship. "The Lee Davis Library has become a welcoming place for our students to visit and study or to meet up with their study groups. This is exactly what we envisioned for this space because we know that attachment and engagement on a college campus are linked to student success."
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.