HSU Library Seismic Retrofit Project

The HSU Library is preparing to develop preliminary program plans for the Library Seismic Retrofit Project, and we'd very much like to hear your thoughts and ideas.  During this retrofit, the HSU Library will undergo required structural improvements and repairs, and at the same time, it will be an important opportunity to ensure the physical space of the Library is configured to best meet the needs and goals of our students, faculty, and staff.  To this end, the Library welcomes comments on the feedback form.

Libraries are about empowering and connecting people and ideas, and the renovations as a result of the Seismic Retrofit Project are only limited by our vision and our ability to find funding to realize our vision. Please feel free to contact Dean Cyril Oberlander if you have questions or concerns about this project.  We welcome your feedback.

Project Description

  • The CSU Seismic Review Board classified the University’s Library as a priority one seismic retrofit project as a result of a number of studies completed over the past several years. The primary objectives of the project include completion of three seismic elements to achieve the seismic strengthening required to mitigate the hazards identified by the Review Board, installation of code compliance upgrades triggered by implementing the seismic elements, and improvement of the operational cost efficiency of the campus from a facilities perspective. The primary objectives are further defined as follows:
    • Confine and strengthen the columns along the southern side of the building.
    • Relocate and permanently brace stacks.
    • Replace roof at mansard roof area.
    • Replace existing primary elevator/conveying system.
    • Replace existing fire alarm system.
    • Install ADA access improvements.
    • The Chancellor’s Office is requesting the University to demolish a minimum of two small houses on campus to improve operational efficiency.
  • Secondary objectives associated with the project include developing a program study and strategic redesign plan for the Library that involves campus conversations designed to evaluate current Library space, campus needs, and evaluate options to improve service, space utilization, and programmatic partnerships at the Library. The work associated with secondary objectives will need to rely on funds outside of the seismic project funds provided by the Chancellor’s Office.

Project Committees & Focus Groups

Library Seismic Project Steering Committee

  • Primary responsibilities in support of the project are as follows:
    • Development and finalization of the programming document.
    • Planning and conducting focus group discussions to assist with development of the programming document.
    • Review and input for the Design Architect Request for Proposals.
    • Reviewing of Design Architect Proposals and recommendation of the primary design consultant to be retained by the University.
    • Review and recommendation of the conceptual Library floor plan (the programmatic vision of the future Library).
    • Assist with effectively communicating project information to the campus community during the planning phase.
    • Consultation with the Project Technical Advisory Team regarding major deviations from the conceptual floor plan required during the design or construction process.
    • Consultation with the Planning Office concerning building occupancy and move in.
  • Current Membership
    • Cyril Oberlander, Library Dean (co-chair)
    • Michael Fisher, Associate Director - Planning & Design (co-chair)
    • Holly Matel, Interim Directory - Academic Resources
    • Kumi Watanabe-Schock, Library Staff Representative (appointed)
    • George Wrenn, Library Faculty Representative (appointed)
    • TBA, Student Members (2, appointed)
  • Past Membership
    • Traci Ferdolage, Associate Vice President - Facilities Management (co-chair)
    • Volga Koval, Director - Academic Resources
    • Jená Burges, Vice Provost
    • Robin Jones, Assistant to the Vice President, Student Affairs

Project Technical Advisory Team

  • Primary responsibilities in support of the project are as follows:
    • Guiding the project through the Design and Bidding phases with the goal of ensuring the project remains in alignment with the program and is delivered on budget and on schedule.
    • Review of design documents until building permit is achieved.
    • Consultation with Library Seismic Project Steering Committee concerning major deviations or required scope adjustments.
    • Consultation with construction management team during the Construction phase.
  • Membership
    • Cyril Oberlander, Library Dean
    • Michael Fisher, Associate Director - Planning & Design (chair)
    • Anna Kircher, Director - ITS or designee
    • Dave Nakamura, University Center Executive Director

Focus Groups

  • List of Potential Groups to Conduct Focus Sessions With
    • Academic & Administrative Leadership Group
    • CNRS Faculty
    • CPS Faculty
    • CAHSS Faculty
    • Faculty Development Group, eLearning, ITS
    • Students
    • Student Academic Support Program Staff
    • Student Life Program Staff
    • Operations & Dining Staff


  • March, 2015: Kickoff
  • April, 2015: Library World Café (open forums) April 23rd & 28th
  • May, 2015: Develop Library program document for Design Request for Proposal (RFP)
  • June, 2015: Design Consultant RFP
  • September, 2015: Development of conceptual floor plan options
  • October, 2015: Review options by University, gather comments and feedback
  • November, 2015: Create schematic design documents
  • January - December, 2016: Design and construction documents are created, with periodic University reviews and gathering of feedback, and finally permits sought and obtained.
  • April, 2017: Construction phase - delayed until 2018/2019

Events & News

Humboldt State NOW:  Plans Underway for Major Seismic Upgrade of University Facilities

Share Your Ideas

We welcome your ideas and feedback!  Here are some questions to get you started:

  • What does a great library look like?
  • What are characteristics of great individual study spaces?
  • What are characteristics of great group study spaces?
  • What does a great library do to support academic achievement/excellence?