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Science & Engineering Library Renovation

News and information about the UCSC Science & Engineering Library renovation.

Head of Assessment and Planning

Greg Careaga's picture
Greg Careaga
2370 McHenry Library



The Science & Engineering Library opened at its current location in 1991. Over the next quarter century, the size of the campus and our STEM community has more than doubled. The library, as it is currently configured, is not optimized to serve the needs of 21st-century researchers and learners.

The renovation of the facility will be phased and donor funded.

Here is a list of recent and upcoming changes.

  • Summer 2017: In response to student feedback, the lower level will be rezoned as the quiet-study floor. Furniture on the upper and lower levels will be reconfigured to provide better separation of active and quiet study zones and to improve access to AC power.
  • Winter and spring 2017: Primary construction takes place for a 98-seat Active Learning Classroom to support innovative teaching for STEM. Construction of a 48-seat Information Commons (computer lab) on the main level takes place. Construction of a new gender-neutral bathroom on the main level takes place. Improvements are made to environmental, electrical, and data systems. The computer gaming laboratory is moved to larger quarters on the main level.
  • Fall 2016: The 48-seat computing laboratory in the S.H. Cowell Room closes in preparation for the Active Learning Classroom. The library closes during winter break to give the contractors a head start on the noisy work of demolition before winter quarter.
  • Summer 2016: Collection maintenance project creates additional seating capacity on the upper level.

Long term goals

Here are our preliminary ideas for the renovation of the Science & Engineering Library. They will be refined as we work with students, faculty and other campus stakeholders to develop a renovation program, as new opportunities arise, and demand for library spaces and services evolves.

Upper level

  • Provide additional group study rooms. Currently, McHenry Library has 20 reservable group study rooms and S&E has only eight.
  • Provide additional individual and small group seating..

Main level

  • Expand the Dougherty Reading Room.
  • Expand the Information Commons.
  • Create a new, larger, and permanent home for the Computer Gaming Laboratory.

Lower level

  • Create a library café modeled on the successful Global Village Café at McHenry Library. The café will have a separate entrance on plaza between the library and Sinsheimer Labs and should provide a convivial place for Science Hill faculty and students to gather.
  • Provide additional group study rooms.