Burman University’s new state-of-the art library was definitely built to inspire students with its Makerspace, Centre for Peace and Justice, prayer room, digital resources, and plenty of spaces where they can work together.
Grand opening ceremonies for the $6-million library attracted a crowd of more than 600 on Saturday during Homecoming Weekend.
Eric Rajah, advancement and donor relations chair for the library, said the 18,000 square-foot library was first envisioned about 40 years ago when he was a student, and replaces a library that was located in a former cafeteria built in 1950.
“There are three-and-a-half times more students coming to the new library since it opened than the old one,” Rajah said about the library that opened for use in January at the Seventh-day Adventist university.
“There are nooks and crannies and places to collaborate. When I go in the evening, all the individual study and meeting rooms are packed. They’re full.”
He said prior to the new library, students often worked together in the dormitory lobbies, which can be noisy, busy places.
The library’s Makerspace is a work space with a 3D printer and poster-sized printers where students can make art and create science models, with space to store their projects.
The Centre for Peace and Justice is where students can learn more about inequality and injustice in the world, and has programs to promote inclusive, harmonious communities.
There’s also a classroom with cutting edge technology for sound and video, and a Writing Centre where students can improve their writing skills.
Rajah said donations from alumni were instrumental in funding the construction that began May 2021.
“I was quite pleased and surprised by the generosity to see how quickly we were able to pay the building off.”
He said the library is open to the public. It’s a place where community groups meet, and it’s perfect for Lacombe students to study who commute to other post-secondary institutions.
“This would be a perfect spot for them.”
The library was designed and built by Eagle Builders, of Blackfalds.