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Anne Arundel Community College plots $21M library expansion

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Anne Arundel Community College will begin a $21 million renovation and expansion of its outdated library next spring in an effort to modernize its campus.

The project will add 31,000 square feet to the building, which is currently 44,000 square feet. The new space will house a computer lab, tutoring services and a reading department.

The expansion will begin April 2011 and will be completed in 2012 or 2013. Funding for the project comes from the state and Anne Arundel County.

School officials want to upgrade the building, which dates back to 1968, so that it includes the technology and collaborative learning spaces that other college libraries have nowadays, says Anne Arundel Community College Library Director, Cynthia Steinhoff.

"The building was designed for a much smaller student population and we are very crowded," Steinhoff says.

Like many other community colleges, the Arnold campus enrollment continues to rise as more people head back to school to gain skills that could help them land jobs. So far 15,877 students have signed up for the fall school year. That's about 5 percent more than the number it had last year, spokeswoman Susan Gross says.

The college has hired two architectural firms, Ewing Cole, in Philadelphia and D.C., and Woollen Molzan and Partners Inc., of Indianapolis, to design the building.

"The building will be more attractive and look much more contemporary," Steinhoff says. School officials think of the library, at 101 College Pkwy., as the "heart of the college."

"We are thinking of the new structure as the jewel of the campus."

School officials like the campus' location because it is centrally located for county residents.

"It's an easy location to get to," Steinhoff says.

Sources: Cynthia Steinhoff, Susan Gross, Anne Arundel Community College
Writer: Julekha Dash

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