EVERETT — Everett Community College celebrated the grand opening of its new library and learning resource center Thursday.
Lined with private study rooms, computers and 58,000 books, the new building provides a welcoming place for students to work and learn.
Construction began two years ago, with demolition of a strip mall that previously occupied the land. Soon, a bridge over Broadway could make pedestrian access easier and safer.
The Cascade Learning Resource Center stands on 1001 N. Broadway as a 65,000-square-foot, three-story building full of learning resources and spaces for students to study. The building is also open for public use.
Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin said the college and its new learning resource center are bright spots in the city.
“It gives our residents and our students an outstanding education at an affordable price point,” she said.
Lynn Deeken, the college’s dean of arts, learning resources and pathways, was a leader in the planning process for the building. She wants the space to be a supportive place where students can develop.
Walking through the front doors, students are immediately met with an info hub desk staffed by other students, as well as tutoring and writing centers. Deeken said the design was intentional to make people feel more comfortable using the resources and to reduce as many barriers as possible.
Also in the building is an art gallery and a media commons providing students access to computer labs, photography software, audio equipment and more.
The building sits across Broadway from the main campus. To make crossing safer, the city plans to build a pedestrian bridge over the arterial route.
The city is waiting for more funding to begin planning and building the bridge, said Kathleen Baxter, a spokesperson for the Everett’s public works department. In 2019, the project was estimated to cost $15 million. Last year, the project received $12.9 million from the state’s Move Ahead Washington transportation package.
In the rest of the learning center, the college’s new library is housed on the third floor. The Center for Transformative Teaching is on the second floor. Fourteen individual study rooms and 13 group private study rooms are scattered throughout.
Deeken said another important feature of the center is one study room allowing students with children to get priority access.
“We know there can be a lot of obstacles when you are a students and also a parent,” she said. “We hope this space communicates that we want to support.”
The study rooms have furniture designed for children, so students can bring children to the library while they study.
The building opened to the public and Everett’s students July 3. Deeken said summer quarter doesn’t bring a lot of foot traffic. With fall quarter already in motion, staff expects more students to use the building.