Library South Wing Receives Construction and Architectural Design Awards

This month, the new Library South wing of the Leo F. Cain University Library was honored with a 2011 Project Achievement Award by the Southern California chapter of the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA). The facility, which was recognized in the “$51-$100 Million Building/New Construction” category, was among 16 institutional and industry projects that were recognized.

The South Wing of the University Library

“Throughout the entire construction phase, O’Connor Construction Management’s team was highly professional, easy to work with, and kept the project on track despite several challenges,” says Adele Vanarsdale, construction manager at CSU Dominguez Hills. “This project was interrupted by the state budget crisis shutdown and would have suffered tremendous setbacks if it weren’t for the cost and schedule management of the team. The ability to take on these challenges as well as additional project scope not only demonstrates the flexibility of their staffing to meet the university’s needs, but also the technical capabilities of the O’Connor staff. The quality of their services and depth of their knowledge was a true asset to this project.”

Vanarsdale says that the expansion, which was designed by Carrier Johnson + Culture Architects, met the challenges of blending the building’s new wing with the existing library facility.

“The architects did an excellent job in reinterpreting a 1960s modern style that complements the existing building while creating a unique identity,” she says.

A statement from Carrier Johnson highlights the Library’s stature as the junction between the university’s academic buildings.

“Flanked by two major pedestrian walkways, the updated [University Library] anchors the academic corridor of the Cal State Dominguez Hills campus, reinforcing the campus’s proud pedestrian character,” noted the architects. “Bridging the divide between old and new, the addition complements the existing library… and responds to the existing building’s scale, slope and paths of circulation.”

The library’s expansion has also been recognized by the journal California Construction with a Best of 2010 Award for Architectural Design.

An independent jury of industry experts in design and construction judged more than 135 nominated projects in a variety of categories, with entry criteria including project management and client service, safety, design, and functionality. The winners were featured in the December 2010 issue of California Construction.

Sandra Parham, University Library dean, says that the project afforded the ability to expand existing services to students as well as offer new services in the library. She says that the library and the Loker Student Union are two landmarks on campus that enhance student life.

“The Loker Student Union is a place of relaxation and release from the classroom,” says Parham. The library offers a place of scholarly research in a culturally rich atmosphere while providing the technology to support student learning. We offer students the best of both environments that lead to paths of student success.”

For more information on the University Library at CSU Dominguez Hills, click here.


  1. Judson Grenier says:

    This is a splendid article on the award for the library’s new wing. Having worked with Quincy Jones, the original master architect, I know that he would be pleased with the way the new wing enhances his original designs and at the same time heralds a more contemporary feel (in my book, spectacularly so.) The article captures that linkage perfectly.

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