Location: Lovelock, Nevada
Client: Pershing County High School
Consultants: Shawna Ley, Interiors Solution Consultant; Stephen Gower, Design Supervisor
Population Served: 205 students
Completion Date: April 2016
Before Pershing County High School’s library renovation, their space was very traditional and badly in need of updates. The 1980s mauve-colored circulation desk that greeted customers as they walked in the door was poorly situated for supervising students. The library’s bank of 16 computers lined a wall that was completely out of sight of the circulation desk. The carpet was a bluish purple, the walls a stark white, and the 1960s free-standing orange bookshelves in the center of the room were not anchored down. The seven large wooden tables were marred by graffiti and were surrounded by a combination of mismatched forest green and brown chairs. All the corners of the low bookshelves were broken off, and the books that lined those shelves were not in much better condition, as many were more than 40 years old.
Take a look through the photos below, supplied by Media Specialist Shelly Nee, to see what the high school library used to look like.
Goals for Pershing’s Library Interior Renovation
The primary goal behind the high school’s renovation project was to build a 21st-century, technology-friendly library space. “Before the renovation, students in our small, rural school had only limited access to technology. We knew that if we could help them experience, even minimally, elements of technology used in high-tech industry, they would be better prepared to make post-secondary education and career choices with confidence,” said Nee.
“With the understanding that a quality environment that is well maintained will perpetuate respect and a higher standard of behavior, I set out to create a space like no other in the school,” said Nee.
“As this renovation was only made possible through generous grants and donations, longevity was a priority for the space. The furniture had to be sturdy and appealing. I selected solid, natural-colored wood for the shelving, storage units and tabletops. Then I added a sense of comfort and color by selecting durable fabrics for the cushioned furniture. I chose a bright red fabric for the couch and presentation area of the room to help draw students into the space.
“The work tables had to be mobile and have the flexibility to be rearranged to meet the needs of different sized groups who use the space for a variety of projects and study. We made sure the chairs at the computer modules all had casters so they could be used when needed to enlarge the audience arena during speeches and other presentations.
“My vision was to create a space for students and faculty to have an ideal area for collaboration and learning, and the entire space had to appear clean, sleek and modern. Too often, schools are expected to settle for the bare minimum of comfort and design. This practice does not inspire a sense of pride. Today, our student body and faculty are all taking ownership of the space and enjoying the process of learning about new technologies.
“Demco had the products and professional staff to help me achieve my vision. Interior Solutions Consultant Shawna Ley worked with me every step of the way to design the space and pick products that worked within my budget to create the environment I had envisioned. From concept to completion, Demco was flexible and understanding of our timeline and funding limitations.
“What I liked most about working with Demco is that they understood my timeline and my budget concerns. They helped me design a very workable space that could be loaded with technology and was easy to supervise. Demco helped me get the most for my budget, and I was able to complete the project as planned and on schedule.
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“Today the library and all that it has to offer is an inspiration to students and staff and it’s a lively, exciting place to be. One of the most positive changes that occurred in the library with this renovation was watching the students interact and collaborate with one another. The space inspires teamwork and communication and creates a sense of interest, curiosity and self-exploration for everyone who takes advantage of all the new, innovative technologies available,” said Nee.
The almost 3,000-square-foot space now houses a plethora of technology and modern amenities that meet the needs of today’s students and teachers:
- The cabinets are filled with many accessories, including cameras, tripods, circuitry kits, drones and robots.
- The bookshelves are stocked with fresh, new young-adult titles.
- The walls are vibrant with high-quality touchscreen computers and images.
- The circulation desk is centrally located for optimal supervision of all areas.
- The furniture is functional and comfortable and adds fun pops of color.
All these solutions came together to transform the space from the former antiquated library of 40 years ago into the modern, relevant, functional media center it is today.