St. Cloud State University, Learning Resource Service Center

St. Cloud, Minnesota

  • FIRM

    Leonard Parker Associates


    St. Cloud State University

  • AREA

    232,000 sq.ft.





Design team: Leonard S. Parker, FAIA; Ray Greco, AIA; Randy Deopere; Sara Rothholz Weiner; William Engelhardt, RA

The new library and Learning Resources Services Center (LRSC) is an important educational component within the St. Cloud State University (SCSU) community. Its design integrates four key objectives:

-Respect for and enhancement of the ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$105.00FEATURED IN2001 Architectural Portfolio context.

-Efficient use of site.

-Flexible response to requirements of function.

-Creative expression, inside and out, of form and image.

Residential neighborhoods west and north of campus make the site a primary gateway into the campus.

The site design vacates Fourth Avenue between Sixth and Seventh Streets. It also created a pedestrian-university super-block from Fifth Avenue to the Mississippi River. The existing campus has influenced the design in terms of:

-Developing circulation paths that permit safe and direct pedestrian movement and access to the new LRSC.

-Establishing building heights and setbacks that are sympathetic to adjacent campus facilities.

-Exploiting the natural amenity that is Barden Park.

-Responding inside and outside to the benevolent southern exposure of the site.

-Selecting materials and colors compatible with the existing campus palette.

The Miller Center was designed to create a variety of environments, from sprawling labs filled with large modular carrels, to intimate group-study rooms, where technologies to produce and manipulate electronic information would be available to students and faculty. These areas often are integrated with traditional library materials, books and periodicals, and never far from views of sky, parks and campus. The center’s design was conscious of the increasing instructional role of librarians by providing a variety of generous electronic classroom labs within the library.

The building also was designed to support the integration of the university’s computer and technology services with library services in a single organization. And in recognition of the social function of the library, a cyber cafe and 24-hour computer lab complete the building design.

This “library of the future” combines a one million-volume collection with electronic information, research and production services. Catalog access is networked to the university system and outlying facilities. This system allows students, staff and facility access to multimedia applications in a variety of situations from traditional workstations, to classrooms, to student’s residence hall. This supports the program requirements of a “movement away from the ‘library as place,’” by making accessible the various electronic applications and alternative media that students and staff need.