Project Set to Rebuild CSUN Library Wings

Construction of the east and west wings of the earthquake-demolished Delmar T. Oviatt Library on the campus of Cal State Northridge will begin this summer, possibly as early as July, university officials said.

Morse Diesel International Inc., a New York-based construction firm that was awarded a contract on June 2 by the university to rebuild the wings, received a notice to proceed last week and is currently in the midst of planning its construction schedule, said Sue Curzon, dean of the Oviatt Library.

"We expect the nail pounding to begin within a few weeks," Curzon said.

Cost to rebuild the 107,000-square-foot wings is $16.7 million, said CSUN spokesman John Chandler.

"It's the largest single contract, in terms of dollar amount, that the university has awarded for an earthquake recovery-related project," Chandler said.

He added that most of the funding came from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which allocated $16.1 million for the project.

The wings, which were damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake, were demolished last July. Chandler said the project's scheduled completion date is Sept. 30, 1999.

"I think it will be a great day in the history of the library when it opens again as a whole," Curzon said.

New features of the wings include the combining of the periodical and microfilm rooms, a group computer lab, an expanded fine arts section and an increase in the number of group study rooms, Curzon said.

Chandler added that the new wings will better accommodate the needs of students with physical disabilities.

As for the exterior, Curzon said the wings will have more windows but will have virtually the identical design as before the earthquake.

"We wanted to have the same look which people have come to love over the years, and it's such a visible symbol of the library and the university," Curzon said.

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