FVCC breaks ground on new library, learning commons

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From left, Beth Lendrum, Rebecca Broussard, FVCC President Jane Karas, Jerome Broussard, Shannon Lund, John Chaney and Sarah Broussard at a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday for a new library at the college in Kalispell. (Mary Cloud Taylor/Daily Inter Lake)

Flathead Valley Community College held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday to celebrate the start of construction on a new library and learning commons.

Construction of the $3 million library marks stage one of the two-phase ONE Campaign, a privately funded philanthropic effort to better serve students and the community.

The finished facility will feature a library with “leading-edge technologies,” group and concentrated study spaces, a lounge area/coffee bar, a medical library, multi-media services, a virtual reality lab and support areas for library staff.

“This building will offer a welcoming common space that encourages exploration, creation and collaboration between students, faculty and the broader community,” said FVCC President Jane Karas.

Scheduled to open in February 2019, the library will be added on to the current Rebecca Chaney Broussard Center for Nursing and Health Science, thanks to a $2.5 million donation made by Jerome Broussard and his family along with other smaller donations made by other community members.

Construction is expected to begin in the next few days, Karas said.

Upon completion of the new library, the old library, according to Karas, will be converted into a one-stop shop housing the student admissions, financial aid, registration, advising and counseling areas.

Next year, the college plans to begin phase two of the ONE Campaign, which involves construction of a 50,000-square-foot College Center.

The center will house a large performance and lecture hall, a multi-purpose activity center with a track, an outdoor amphitheater, and a reception/exhibition hall. The performance and lecture hall will serve as the home of the Glacier Symphony.

To date, more than $9 million has been raised for the construction of the College Center, with an additional $6 million needed to complete the project before the groundbreaking planned for spring 2019 following the completion of the library.

“Now we need to get er’ done and get the other building financed,” Broussard said at the ceremony. “I know we can do it.”

ONE Campaign co-chair Justin Sliter also expressed his enthusiasm for the progress being made on both projects.

“I dream about being here next year at this time, celebrating a groundbreaking at the new college center,” Sliter said. “We are blessed with a community that continues to show their generosity toward this and many other fantastic projects, and I know that we will meet our goal and we’ll all be here celebrating next year.”

Reporter Mary Cloud Taylor can be reached at 758-4459 or mtaylor@dailyinterlake.com.

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