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  Loras College Academic Resource Center, Page 56Loras College Academic Resource Center
300 West Adams Street
Chicago, IL 60606

Dubuque, Iowa
Total Square Feet: 94,935
Construction Period: Oct 2000 to Aug 2002

Construction Team
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Conlon Construction Company, 1100 Rockdale Road, Dubuque, IA 52004
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Holabird & Root LLC, 300 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL 60606
ELECTRICAL & MECHANICAL ENGINEER: KJWW Engineering Consultants, 623 26th Avenue, Rock Island, IL 61201
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: Peter Lindsay Schaudt Landscape Architecture, Inc., 410 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605
COST ESTIMATOR: Construction Cost Systems, Inc., 200 West 22nd Street, #209, Lombard, IL 60148

Holabird & Root and Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa conceived the Academic Resource Center as the intellectual hub of campus. Library Director Robert Klein stated at the outset of the planning process, "We want this to be the natural place for people to come to pursue intellectual endeavors, as the Student Center is the place that they pursue recreation and entertainment." Toward this end, Holabird & Root programmed the facility with many spaces not necessarily associated with a college library. A bookstore and cafe are located at the main entry to draw in the general student population. Classrooms, which are distributed throughout the building, are used for instruction on how to use the resources of the library as well as by academic departments that would like to hold classes among the collections. A tutorial center for students seeking assistance with math and writing is located at the lower level, and a suite of offices and testing rooms aids students with learning differences.

Many spaces enhance the traditional functions of the library. A 3,000-squarefoot climate controlled museum space is open to the public and features a rare books collection, city and college archives and an exhibit of Dubuque history. The facility provides an array of study spaces to accommodate group interactions as well as secluded individual study. Several informal gathering areas distributed throughout the collection and 15 small conference rooms provide enclosed study areas for groups up to eight.

The prominent siting for the center provided several design opportunities. Situated on a steep hill on the edge of campus, the center serves as a beacon to the campus and the surrounding community. The building's campus-facing facade forms a green space for students to gather, while the street-facing facade expresses the central role of the campus and the ARC to the community. The site overlooks the city and the Mississippi River. A pedestrian bridge connecting the ARC to the existing Alumni Campus Center, the social hub of the college, encourages campus-wide interaction while recognizing the need for an intellectual and social balance in a college environment.

Open reading rooms and the primary collection are located along the east-west axis, while an open ornamental stair connects all levels to allow patrons to flow easily through the collection. A large two-story reading room located at the most prominent face of the building looks toward the Mississippi. Since it is filled with natural light and is located at the center of activity, this has become one of the most popular places in the building for students to gather.

The ARC provides access to information of all types: printed, digital, and online. The building supports wireless access throughout the facility.

Holabird & Root selected the exterior materials to compliment the existing, more traditional campus buildings. The base of the building is clad in a warm dolamitic limestone that is quarried in the area, while upper walls are composed primarily of brick masonry with punched window openings. The walls at the end of the reading rooms and the ones that form the courtyard, are the exceptions to this, being composed of aluminum curtainwall with a lightly tinted glass. This results in bringing filtered natural light into the most public areas of the facility. At night, these areas are visible to the campus and surrounding community.

DIV 07:
Standing Seam: Berridge Manufacturing; Soffit Flashing: Copper Sales.
DIV 08: Aluminum Curtainwall: Moduline; Aluminum Entrances: Tubelite; Glazing: Viracon fabricated and installed by Zephyr Aluminum Products, Dubuque, Iowa; Exterior Glass Canopy: Engineered & Detailed by Wisconsin Solar Design.
DIV 09: Gypsum: United States Gypsum; Rubber Flooring: Nora; VCT: Armstrong; Acoustical Tile: BPB Celotex; Wood Slat Ceiling: Architectural Sur faces.

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