South Mountain Community College, in a joint venture with the City of Phoenix, constructed this new Library and Learning Resource Center to provide additional room for library collections and technical services, computer classrooms and open computer labs, study spaces, the college's Teaching and Learning Center and technical support, staff office and support areas, and college learning assistance areas. The new facility is jointly operated as a City of Phoenix public library.
The primary challenge was to accommodate both students and area residents. Special attention was paid to evaluate the needs of both user groups and deliver uniquely designed areas. Public-library patrons enjoy a children's area, teen area, and multipurpose room on the first floor. SMCC students are provided with 100 computer terminals, periodicals, and research stacks, along with multimedia classrooms and a digital-production studio upstairs. The goal was not to duplicate functions, but to create separate areas with seamless transitions between the academic and public library spaces by utilizing natural elements and references to agriculture that run throughout the space and create a warm and inviting mood.