NMJC Pannell Library Reopens
9/5/2010 2:12:30 a.m. - Hobbs, NM. Following a 13-month, $3.8 million renovation, Pannell Library, located in the heart of the New Mexico Junior College campus, reopened September 1, much to the satisfaction of students and campus alike.
According to Dr. John Gratton, Vice President for Instruction, the library was renovated to create a brighter, more inviting, and student-friendly space. The large staircase from the middle of the building is now gone, as are the stacks, or bookshelves. “Before, all of this space was pretty well filled with stacks of books,” said Gratton. Today, the open space reflects more student seating and study areas, as well as space-saving mobile bookshelves.
During the renovation, library books and other materials were stored on campus or in Mansur Hall. Staff set up offices there, and a limited amount of books and other resources were available to faculty and students, due to the lack of space.
But with the help of NMJC personnel last Friday, books and materials were moved back in, and library staff began the final process of preparing the beautiful new facility for reopening to students, campus, and community members.
While there have been numerous changes and updates to Pannell Library, one of the most practical aspects can be found in the towering new glass entrance. New elevators and a new staircase are located just inside, and thanks to the design, students and patrons can now access the second floor even after the first floor is closed.
On the second floor, a new conference room, eight new classrooms, and several new bathrooms are now located. Also located there is the college’s upcoming University Center, which will eventually house offices for Eastern New Mexico University, University of New Mexico, New Mexico Tech, and other schools. When it opens next semester, the University Center will provide area residents with direct access to bachelor and master degrees at a number of higher education institutions across the state.