Coast Mountain College (CMTN) has set up a pop-up library for students after a flood damaged the library in the basement of the main building at its Terrace campus in August, just weeks before classes started.
The flood was caused by an overflowing toilet that soaked the floors and walls of the library just below over the course of one night. The college now intends to close the library for a year to renovate and rebuild.
“There’s no possibility of getting that space remediated within a short time frame, and we’re in a better position to be able to renovate the whole space so we have a great looking library moving forward,” said Sarah Zimmerman, CMTN’s director of communications and public relations.
“Flooding was extensive, extensive enough that we had to replace drywall and flooring,” Zimmerman said.
Fortunately, no materials from the library’s book collection or other resources were lost in the flood.
The pop-up library opened the first week of September in the college’s newly-reconstructed House of Cedar building, an $18 million project for trades students that opened Sept. 21.
The space near the front entrance has been set up with seating, four computers and bookshelves of textbooks for students to rent. Outside the makeshift library are student common areas with several tables, chairs, and workstations with charging ports. A cafe serving coffee and food sits in the middle of the front entrance area.
“This set up offers a lot of natural light, it offers a variety of study spaces and actually offers more seating than what we had before,” Zimmerman said.
If other books are needed, she said students can access the college’s online collection or put in a request with library staff to have the materials brought in.
“We’re working on a different storage solution for some of the collections, so we’re still in flux, but if it can be pulled within the hour, it can be pulled within the hour,” Zimmerman said.
Some students have voiced concerns about the pop-up library space not being able to meet their needs regarding the amount of quiet space and resources available.
“It’s a really cramped space and there are limited computers,” said first-year student Elizabeth Percival. “Right now to get a study space you would have to book a room, so it makes it hard for everyone to have access to a quiet place to study.”
College official Colin Elliott said another bank of computers will be coming in at the end of the month, and a temporary lab for students has been set up in the cafeteria building.
Another shelving unit of books from the library’s collection is also set to move into the pop-up location, which will have a sound dampening wall installed to help with the noise.
“Most things are addressed or are in the process of being addressed,” Elliott said.