Moody renovation improves library, labs

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Nursing freshmen Enhjeong and Mike Wildman walk out of the new Café Moody on the second floor of Moody. Monica Lamadrid

Nursing freshmen Enhjeong and Mike Wildman walk out of the new Café Moody on the second floor of Moody. Monica Lamadrid

Correction: The reference and reserve sections of the library share the second floor.

By Michael Peters

mpeters28@student. alamo.edu 

Moody Learning Center, built in 1968, has gone through dramatic changes over the last several years.

The fifth and the third floors began renovations in 2009, and the other five floors began renovations in January 2012.

Capital improvement funds of $18 million went to general renovation while the college budget paid for furniture and computers for the building.

“The escalators took a big chunk of that,” David Mrizek, vice president of college services, said. “They were breaking daily.”

Replacing the escalators cost more than $2 million.

On the fifth floor, all of the walls were cleared out and modular walls were installed.

Vinyl composition tile was replaced with polished concrete. Although polished concrete is more labor-intensive to polish, it is easier to clean than the VCT tile, he said.

Originally, the polished concrete was going to be only for the fifth floor, but it ended up being brought to the first, sixth and seventh floors.

The first floor renovations were similar to the fifth floor as basically the entire floor was cleared and built anew.

The sixth floor underwent smaller modifications.

“Some of the walls and classrooms remained,” Mrizek said. “We painted and made slight changes to make it look good.”

The SLAC lab was temporarily moved to the fifth floor while the seventh floor was completely remodeled.

Old satellite dishes on the roof were replaced with new ones. The electrical system was replaced, and new heating and air conditioning was installed throughout the building.

Old windows were replaced with new glass, which shields the inside from UV rays.

Windows excluded, the outside of the building needs to be renovated, he said.

“Possibly this fiscal year with district dollars from preventive maintenance,” Mrizek said.

The building needs to be power-washed, and panels need to be put over the off-color brick above and below the windows.

The porch railing also needs to be painted.

The third floor underwent drastic changes.

“This was quite a project,” Mrizek said. “It looks great and so many of the staff are pleased with how it came out.”

Librarian Tom Bahlinger said it was time for a change to the layout and is pleased with the new layout.

The reference and reserve sections of the library used to be on different floors but now share the third floor, which is much more convenient for students.

Under the previous layout, the reference section of the library was next to the escalators.

Bahlinger said the escalator noise was a constant disturbance.

Double doors shield the reference library from outside noise in the new layout.

“It’s nice and quiet like a library should be,” Bahlinger said.

The library needed more space for books, students and study rooms.

Librarian Celita DeArmond said the space was “reclaimed for students.”

“There’s more area for quiet study and collaborative study; lots of students do online coursework here,” DeArmond said.

The fourth floor, which will feature additional study rooms, is not yet open because of staffing issues.

“The student workers have not been approved yet,” Bahlinger said.

He hopes they will be approved within the next few weeks.

Across from the reference section of the library is the reserve section where students can check out textbooks for two hours.

“The reserve area is a nice quiet zone,” DeArmond said.

In between the reference and reserve sections of the library are couches, tables and seats.

“It’s a cool area to hang out, but when I want to study I go to the library,” communication design freshman Frances Montamat said.

Café Moody, near the east entrance to Moody, offers Starbucks coffee, soft drinks, energy drinks, water, chips, cookies and muffins.

“The seats are positioned nicely and kind of away from other people so you can do homework in quiet,” business sophomore Franc Castro said.

Major projects in the works include renovations to the first and second floors of Fletcher Administration Center and the renovation of the Bennett House.

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