College of Marin starts work on $82.5M library project College of Marin is gearing up for its latest major construction project: the $82.5 million library building at its campus in Kentfield.

The 78,000-square-foot, three-story building will rise along College Avenue just south of the academic center at the corner of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard.

The building, called the Learning Resources Center, will include a new library, event spaces, offices, classrooms and a pantry and health services. A space for faculty professional development programs is also planned.

The project is the latest in college’s multiyear revitalization efforts on its Kentfield and Novato campuses made possible by voter-approved Measure B bond funds.

“The new LRC is intuitive, functional and beautiful, with a balance of owned and shared spaces,” said Nicole Cruz, the college’s communications director.

“It engages and welcomes in Marin County’s broader community,” she said. “It is a place that provokes joy, inspiration and new connections.”

Cruz added that one of the goals of the new Learning Resources Center is to create a feeling of home for each student by incorporating a natural and comfortable design.

“They are connected to the surrounding nature and this place,” Cruz said. “Each student truly belongs.”

The college held an online forum last week to update the community on the project. It was led by Isidro Farias, the college’s capital projects director, and Beth Rhodes, project communications manager.

According to Rhodes, the work at the site includes installing underground piping, water lines, valves and fiber connections. That work is expected to be done by the end of this year, she said.

A construction site is fenced off on the College of Marin campus in Kentfield on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022. (Alan Dep/Marin Independent Journal)

The next phase, which is grading, soil mixing and foundation work, will begin in March, Rhodes said. Building construction is anticipated to start by July and last until the fall of 2025.

“We understand we cannot completely mitigate the impacts for all folks,” Rhodes said of the construction work. “We will be address impacts such as noise, vibration, truck deliveries, workers shouting and machines running.”

Farias said every effort will be made to schedule construction activities around community routines, such as avoiding truck deliveries during the student commute times for Kent Middle School, which is across College Avenue from the project.

A “sound blanket” will be placed on the south side of the campus academic center so that construction noise will be muffled for classes and other activities inside the center, Farias said.

Donna Reeve, a neighbor of the campus for the last 45 years, asked whether there would be a plan to address a traffic “backup” at the college parking lot entrance between about 8:30 and 10 a.m. as students and staff arrive for school.

Farias said efforts would be made to avoid worsening the normal “bumper to bumper” backlog in the mornings.

“We would only close a lane in the parking lot during deliveries,” he said.

According to Rhodes, the college is seeking to maintain close partnerships with the community to make sure all work is done safely and with the least disruption.

“Safety is really critical in such a compact area,” she said.

Outreach, including additional public forums, will be organized to update the community as the work progresses, Farias said.

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