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  Paul A. Elsner Library & High Technology Complex and Life Science Building, Mesa Community College, Page 48Paul A. Elsner Library & High Technology Complex and Life Science Building, Mesa Community College
Architect 
DWL Architects + Planners, Inc. 
5727 North 7th Street, #300, Phoenix, AZ 85014


Location: 
Mesa, Arizona
Total Square Feet: 125,500
Construction Period: Dec 1997 to Aug 1999

Construction Team
General Contractor: DL Withers Construction Co. - 3220 E. Harbour Dr., Phoenix, AZ 85034
Structural Engineer: kpff Consulting Engineers - 2800 N. Central Ave., #1010, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: Lowry-Sorensen-Willcoxson Engineering - 2333 W. Northern Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85021
Lanscape Architect: Logan Simpson Design - 398 S. Mill Ave., #200, Tempe, AZ 85281
Cost Estimator: Construction Consultants - 6251 E. Marilyn Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85254


The Paul A. Elsner Library and High Technology Complex and the Life Science Building have brought Mesa Community College to twenty first educational methods and technology. Both facilities address the shifting paradigm in education, with increasing emphasis placed on the role of technology and flexibility of space to facility group learning.

The Paul A. Elsner Library and High Technology Complex steps away from the traditional library role, to one supporting multiple connections to college-based services. Its three stories of reconfigurable space combine traditional library functions with computer and multi-media commons, mediated classrooms, the college's video communications network studios, administrative offices and student services. It is the information technology, materials resources and student access hub of the college.

The Library's integration of uses was enabled by the flexibility of its interior, as well as its economical steel and concrete block structure. It is accentuated with turquoise colored heat-resistant glass, metallic trim and sunshading- all elements sensitive to the building's desert locale. A skylight brings natural light to the middle of the building, while the third floor includes two large outdoor reading decks, to expand useful library area while taking advantage of the climate.

A second phase will connect the library to the 28,000-square-foot existing library to the east. From the center of campus, students will pass through the existing library in a "learning mall," with services available on both sides, then on into the new library.

The Library and the surrounding site feature Barbara Grygutis' "Linkages" public artwork program. Its theme is carried from inside the building to outside, via an intertwining pattern of pathways surrounding it and the neighboring Life Science building, as well as the adjacent Amphitheater.

The Life Science Building also addresses the trends towards technology and collaborative learning. Its prgram required space and infrastructure to accommodate enhanced curricula via distance learning and online resources; and a departure from the traditional layout to a more flexible arrangement more conducive to collaborative teaching/learning methods. 

The facility was constructed of concrete block bearing wall. Its curved metal roof softens the transition between its own two stories and the three stories of the neighboring library/high technology building. The curve's raised edge creates a clerestory, allowing daylight into the building's center, as its exterior presents a modern face of the campus to the surrounding community.

The floor plans combine an expanded number of technology-equipped, flexible laboratories, preparation rooms and classrooms, for ease in reconfiguration. Glass-walled collaborative study rooms face an open study garden. This enables faculty and students to interact more freely, thereby extending the teaching/learning experience. furthermore, the enhanced visibility between the study rooms and the garden foster a sense of community while increasing individual safety.

Both the Life Science Building and the Paul A. Elsner Library and High Technology Facility foster a technology-enhanced collaborative environment, that ensures equal access, opportunities and success for all students.

Manufacturers/Suppliers
Exterior Walls -- Metal Exterior Panels: Alusuisse Composites; Aluminum Doors & Frames: Vistawall; Aluminum Windows: Wausau Window & Wall.
Floors -- Carpet: Shaw; Terrazzo: Advanced Terrazzo;  Adhesives, Installation Material: MAPEI.
Interior Walls -- Toilet Partitions: Capital Partitions; Accessories: ASI.


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