Library Seismic Retrofit Project

It is the policy of the Trustees of the California State University that to the maximum extent feasible by present earthquake engineering practice to acquire, build, maintain, and rehabilitate buildings and other facilities that provide an acceptable level of earthquake safety for students, employees, and the public who occupy these buildings and other facilities at all locations where University operations and activities occur.
--California State University Office of the Chancellor - Adopted December 8, 2000

HSU Library

The California State University Seismic Review Board classified Humboldt State University’s Library as a Priority One Seismic Retrofit Project. CSU Priority List One identifies facilities that warrant urgent attention for seismic upgrade as soon as resources can be made available.

The Library Seismic Retrofit Project is a series of crucial updates that provides timely opportunities for much needed renovations. With support and funding, here is what to expect of your library in the coming years.

The HSU Library Seismic Retrofit Project began construction in April 2016. During this retrofit, the library will undergo extensive structural improvements and repairs. The scale and scope of this renovation provides an important opportunity to ensure that the physical space of the Library is configured to best meet the needs and goals of HSU students, faculty, and staff. To that end, many Student Centered Spaces will be built or renovated during the seismic retrofit renovations.

Primary Seismic Retrofit Project Objectives

  • 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

For questions, please contact Michael Fisher, Associate Director of Planning & Design at Facilities Management.

Additional information

Library Seismic Retrofit & Renovation Timeline

The Library Seismic Retrofit Project is a series of crucial updates that provides timely opportunities for much needed renovations. With support and funding, here is what to expect of your library in the coming years. 


PHASE III (September 2018-August 2019)

The construction period for Phase III will be September 2018-August 2019, with the majority of the heavy concrete work being conducted in the summer months.  Additionally, there will be interior work that includes the final book stack retrofit, minor suspended ceiling seismic improvements, and ADA required modifications.

  • Reinforce exterior pillars.
  • Consolidate microfiche on 2nd floor.
  • Relocate the Media, Microform, and Children's Literature Collections.
  • Enlarge the Helen Everett Reading Room to accommodate another event space like the Fishbowl.
  • Turn the Humboldt Room into an experimental classroom.
  • Program to renovate basement to be developed Fall/Spring 2018, with construction in 2019.

PHASE II (Spring/Summer 2017)

The exterior seismic upgrades relative to exterior concrete columns, replacement of exterior lighting with LED fixtures, and improving the building entry gates and accessible pathways, will be implemented starting fall of 2018. Seismic land coefficient code changes necessitated construction design changes that delayed construction until 2018. See PHASE III below. 

Spring 2017

  • Finish roof replacement. ✓
  • Repair internal water damaged areas. ✓
  • Recarpet additional areas. ✓
  • Create the Center for Teaching & Learning on the third floor. ✓

Summer 2017

  • Shift Government Documents. ✓
  • Shift 3rd floor books for Center for Teaching & Learning. ✓
  • Finalize the Center for Teaching & Learning design with construction possible in 2017-2018. ✓
  • Complete the Humboldt Scholars Lab with the construction of the new Special Collections & University Archives. ✓

PHASE I (Summer/Fall 2016)

The Project will replace the tile roof and paint the exterior of the building. Additionally, there will be limited interior work that includes moving interior book stacks on the first, second, and third floors of the building.

During the construction period, both the main entries to the basement and the first floor will remain open and accessible. The exterior walkways under the exterior canopies at the basement level and the first floor level will be within the construction zone and will not have public access. Additionally, the library parking lot will be impacted for contractor laydown space. A detailed detour and parking lot map will be published. There will be periods of noise related to demolition of roof. Also there will be scaffolding and large equipment moving around the building. See the detailed detour and parking lot map for more information.

June/July 2016

  • 20 new group study areas added to the second floor. ✓
  • Relocate low use journals to the basement for pickup at Circulation. ✓
  • Integrate Reference Collection into the main collection to create space for tutoring on the main floor. ✓
  • Relocate California Documents to create space for the Humboldt Scholars Lab on the third floor. ✓

August 2016

  • Remove shelving and recarpet in former Reference Collection area (1st floor), selected Periodical areas (2nd floor), and California Documents area (3rd floor). ✓
  • Relocate the Writing Studio and Math Lab to former reference area on 1st floor. ✓
  • Open Digital Media Lab holding Macs, PCs, and specialty printers. Cameras and other related equipment available from the Checkout Desk. ✓

September 2016 (updated 9/23/16)

  • Reconfigure and permanently brace periodical stacks with some recarpeting outside of the Fishbowl starting September 26. This work will be completed within 5 weeks of start date. ✓
  • Starting September 26, the roofing and painting contractor will begin setting temporary construction site measures that will impact the faculty/staff lot behind the Library. ✓
  • The contractor will establish pedestrian detours and tunnels around the building as needed for safety and worker access. ✓
  • See the detailed detour and parking lot map for more information.

October 2016

  • Open Humboldt Scholars Lab on 3rd floor with additional collaboration stations. Formal opening October 24 during Open Access Week. ✓
  • First floor maps relocated to third floor Humboldt Scholars Lab area in October 2016. ✓
  • Continue pressure washing and painting of exterior. ✓
  • Begin roof tile removal. ✓

November - December 2016

  • Building and bracing of new Periodical stacks on new carpet. ✓
  • Reshelving of Periodical Collection on new stacks. ✓
  • Demolition of old Periodical stacks, removal of old carpet, installation of new carpet. ✓
  • Continue roof work and painting. ✓
  • Beginning December 2, the roof battens and tiles will be installed. Expect lots of drilling and banging - this will be the noisiest portion of the project and will last 4-6 weeks. ✓

PHASE 0 (Winter Break - Spring 2016)

Main Floor

  • Relocate current periodicals and newspapers near the Library Café. ✓
  • Improve service visibility by relocating Tech Help Desk to the Information Commons. ✓
  • Create a Digital Media Lab in Room 120. ✓

Second Floor

  • Open the CoLab in 205, an experimental teaching space and collaborative computing area for students. ✓
  • Expansion of group study areas. ✓

Third Floor

  • Additional seating in the quiet study areas along the windows. ✓

The HSU Library does not plan to close during various phases of this project. We are committed to learning, research, scholarship, and community.

The opportunity to invest in students and knowledge at the HSU Library is open. If you are interested in hearing more about the HSU Library Seismic Retrofit Project, or supporting the Digital Media Lab, Humboldt Scholars Lab, Special Collections renovation, or the Center for Teaching & Learning, please contact the Library Dean, Cyril Oberlander.