After years in the planning stage and much anticipation, St. Catharine College broke ground on the new Emily W. Hundley Library and Center for Graduate Studies on Nov. 14. In addition to the new library and graduate school, the $8 million facility will also house classrooms, conference rooms, study areas and a café. St. Catharine College President, William D. Huston, said the new building will be the crown jewel of the campus and the center of student life at SCC.
"This is a building that we have been planning and designing for four years," Huston said. "We have visited many other colleges and university libraries and feel we have captured the best and most exciting features of all we have seen, incorporating them all into the Hundley Library. Not only will we have dedicated and secure spaces for our archives and special collections, but the third level will house our new Graduate Studies. This building will be an extremely unique building in that so many of our current and future needs will be housed under one roof."
Funding for the Emily W. Hundley Library comes from a combination of private donations and public bonding. Following the announcement of the lead gift from Ms. Hundley, the faculty and staff donated and pledged over $220,000. This was immediately followed by gifts of over $1,000,000 from current and former Board of Trustee members.
"To date, over 350 individuals have come together to contribute toward the project," added Huston. "The support of the entire St. Catharine Community has been outstanding. The Dominican Sisters of Peace and the Board of Trustees continue to believe in and support the growth of St. Catharine College. The sisters have always helped promote and enhance the mission of SCC through their four pillars of sponsorship – Prayer, Study, Community and Service. "
The Hundley Library will be constructed between the Richard S. Hamilton Health and Science Building and the Cambron-Ice Clock Tower – geographically located in the center and highest point on campus. It will be three stories and will have 38,000 square feet of space. A lighted cupola will provide the beacon of learning on the roof top.
Eleven general contractors from three states submitted bids for construction. Morel Construction from Louisville was awarded the contract based on the lowest bid. In keeping with previous construction projects, many local subcontractors will benefit from the project.
"I expect construction to begin this month and the facility should be completed in early 2013. Weather permitting, we could have our dedication and grand opening around Christmas of 2012," stated Huston. "Today, St. Catharine College not only serves the tri-county area as it has for years but we have grown to have students from 35 states and 12 foreign countries. We have developed a textbook example of the cultural diversity we have on campus and the facilities required to provide a quality education for our students. The new Emily W. Hundley Library and Center for Graduate Studies will be the latest step in reaching the growth and expansion as announced in the vision 2020 Master Plans for the campus."
St. Catharine College is proudly sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Peace. The Dominican connection can be traced to its founding in 1931.