The Free Press, Mankato, MN

November 18, 2013

Gustavus plans library renovation

Half funds raised for $8.1 million project

By Free Press Staff
The Mankato Free Press

---- — ST. PETER — Gustavus Adolphus College announced Monday plans to renovate and modernize its Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library.

“With all the changes in technology over the last 40 years, many have wondered about the role of the library on a college campus and have questioned whether the library will be relevant in the future,” said President Jack Ohle in a statement. “The answer is definitely yes.”

Ohle added that planning renovations of the library must create a different setting for future Gusties. He said the college is planning “21st century intellectual learning commons where scholarly exploration, academic support and technology come together.”

About $4.1 million already has been raised to go toward the project. Gustavus Library Associates, a “friends-of-the-college organization” dedicated to support and advance the library, has been challenged to raise the last $4 million needed for a total project cost of about $8.1 million.

The college will break ground on the project after all the funding is secured, which is expected during the next several years of fundraising as part of the Campaign Gustavus campaign.

The plans call for construction of learning rooms to facilitate collaborative learning for students, a newly designed entrance, more natural lighting, and a gateway between the Sesquicentennial Plaza and the Johns Family Courtyard.

The project also includes additional space for the Hillstrom Museum of Art to move from its current location on the lower level of the C. Charles Jackson Campus Center.

The Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library opened in 1972 and has served thousands of students for more than 40 years. It is named after Swedish diplomat Count Folke Bernadotte, who was assassinated in 1948 while serving as the United Nations mediator in Palestine.