You are here

Sense of Place

Library & Learning Center at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota

University Business, September 2018
  • BUSY BUSINESSES, COMMITTED COMMUNITY—The Library & Learning Center includes a variety of areas, such as a community room with shifting spaces and a kitchen, specifically designed to bring in businesses and members of the community. Since the center opened, the Florida Wildlife Commission has held public hearings and information sessions there, specifically on shark fishing. Businesses can reserve various areas, and community members can borrow books once they apply for a library card.
  • BUSY BUSINESSES, COMMITTED COMMUNITY—The Library & Learning Center includes a variety of areas, such as a community room with shifting spaces and a kitchen, specifically designed to bring in businesses and members of the community. Since the center opened, the Florida Wildlife Commission has held public hearings and information sessions there, specifically on shark fishing. Businesses can reserve various areas, and community members can borrow books once they apply for a library card.

A new 63,000-square-foot library provides students at a Florida community college with space for using technology and overseeing building projects—including subcontractor coordination and contractor quality control—and developing strong ties with the community and local businesses, such as DTC Engineering.

Challenge: State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota began construction of the new Library & Learning Center in 2017, but Hurricane Irma halted progress.

“We had to shut down the site a week in advance of the hurricane and secure anything that had the potential to become a flying projectile,” says President Carol F. Probstfeld.

After the hurricane, the surrounding area had no electricity for more than a week. Many subcontractors also left to help in other parts of the state that had sustained heavier damage.

Solution: The construction team devised a seven-day workweek with multiple shifts to stay on track. Now, the library—which opened just a month behind schedule—showcases technology such as a 270-degree immersible video wall.


Got a tech story to tell? Present at UBTech 2019.


A nursing student studying the human heart, for example, can stand and watch, up close, a presentation on the organ while collaborating with other students in real time.

The library also contains a film production suite, an editing room and 3D printers. “Our students are now at the center of everything with an eye toward using technology,” says Probstfeld.

Cost: $18.7 million

Completed: February 2018

Project Team: Architect: Williamson Dacar Architects (Fla.); contractor: Cutler Associates (Fla.); structural engineer: Weber & Tinnen P.A. (Fla.); mechanical, electrical and plumbing
engineer: Engineering Matrix Inc. (Fla.); civil engineer: Jensen-Group (Fla.); landscape architect: Booth Design Group (Fla.)